The Secret in Their Eyes [El Secreto de Sus Ojos]

"Essential"

The Secret in Their Eyes [El Secreto de Sus Ojos] Review


Gorgeously filmed with passion and artistry, this is a provocative story of the tenacity of justice as seen through the eyes of a man who can't forget the one that got away. This is literally breathtaking filmmaking on every level.

Recently retired lawyer Benjamin (Darin) wants to write a novel, but is unable to shake the memory of a brutal 25-year-old murder case that challenged his sense of justice. But time got away from him, and it's only now that he's again haunted by the horribly twisted series of events. This is entangled with his relationships with two colleagues (Villamil and Francella) and the victim's equally troubled husband (Rago), plus and an ongoing vendetta that subverts justice in the name of politics.

With painterly cinematography, Campanella pulls us into the story with vivid, sensual details. We feel Benjamin's strain to imagine happy, beautiful stories rather than something violent and sinister. And this approach extends to the way Benjamin's past drifts into his present, cleverly blurring the lines between reality, fantasy and memories. This style of filmmaking makes us feel everything he feels, and at times it's almost overwhelming.

This is the evocative story of a man who spent his whole life in pursuit of justice and still feels like he has something to learn, especially if there might be truth out there still undiscovered. Through lyrical editing, it almost feels like he's getting the chance to go back in time and right a terrible wrong. And while the film grapples with weighty themes, it takes the time to create characters who are full of personality and attitude. So their internal quests and interpersonal relationships are vivid and involving.

Every performance zings with honesty and earthy humour, with Darin creating an especially powerful character in both timelines. Through his eyes we are forced to think about what we would do in the same situation: follow the letter of the law, bend the rules, go with the flow, see things from new angles or give up on finding the truth? We're reminded that the one thing we can't change about ourselves is our passion. And that we can't live through our memories.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Box Office Worldwide: $34M

Budget: $2M

Production compaines: Canal+ España, 100 Bares, Tornasol Films, Ministerio de Cultura, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales (INCAA), Televisión Federal (Telefe), Televisión Española (TVE), Haddock Films S.R.L., Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Juan Jose Campanella

Producer: Mariela Besuievski, Juan Jose Campanella, Carolina Urbieta

Starring: Ricardo Darín as Benjamín Espósito, as Irene Menéndez Hastings, Pablo Rago as Ricardo Morales, Javier Godino as Isidoro Gómez, Guillermo Francella as Pablo Sandoval, Carla Quevedo as Liliana Coloto, Bárbara Palladino as Chica Piropo, Alejandro Abelenda as Pinche Mariano, Mario Alarcón as Juez Fortuna Lacalle, Rudy Romano as Ordóñez, Mariano Argento as Romano, Sebastián Blanco as Pinche Tino, Gabriela Daniell as Alejandra Sandoval, José Luis Gioia as Báez - Inspector, Juan José Ortíz as Agente Cardozo, Kiko Cerone as Molinari, Fernando Pardo as Sicora, Maximiliano Trento as Guardia Comisaría, Sergio López Santana as Jacinto Cáceres, Elvio Duvini as Juan Robles, David Di Napoli as Escribano Andretta, Pedro Kochdilian as Borracho 1, Darío Valenzuela as Capataz, Oscar Sánchez as Borracho 2, Alicia Haydée Pennachi as Madre Gómez, Carlos Mele as Viejo Letrina, Iván Sosa as Custodio Interrogatorio, Judith Buchalter as Madre Irene, Héctor La Porta as Guardia Civil Ministerio Bienestar Social, Liliana Cuomo as Margarita, Alejandro Pérez as Matón

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