If you’re looking for a refreshing crime thriller look no further than The Secret in Their Eyes. This is a visually alluring, exquisitely written, and directed movie that will keep you engaged throughout. After all, it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The story follows an aging detective who decides to write a book about a case that’s been puzzling him for years. And while the premise seems rather familiar, the execution is simply dazzling.
And don’t think because The Secret in Their Eyes is an Argentinian movie that it doesn’t look good. The production values rival any of the big Hollywood movies. The same can be said about the cast led by the charismatic Ricardo Darin. They brought to life complex characters making this crime mystery movie also a character study. I especially liked Pablo Sandoval, Esposito’s assistant, who’s an alcoholic with a great sense of humor. I really don’t know why 🙂
Now, non-linear storytelling might be a bit confusing at times but you’ll soon be back on the right track. This is a movie based on a novel of the same name so this clears up a lot of that confusion. It also has an edge to it, something rarely seen in Hollywood productions. A subversive line of thought questioning everything we know about the people around us, morality and how the world works. I know that this might be a bit fucked up for some but any discomfort is totally worth it.
After his retirement, Benjamín Esposito decides to write a book about the case that has been with him for 25 years. A vicious murder and rape of a beautiful young woman. He tries to track down some of the actors in this case while at the same time remembering how it played out. How disturbing it was and how he felt at the time. This is just the beginning of the story.
The Secret in Their Eyes is a movie best served cold, without any hints or spoilers. And this is why the summary is a bit shorter. The attention to detail here is amazing and every scene offers something beautiful and engaging. I also loved their decision not to make the scenes in the past black and white but in color. Campanella explains that this is a movie about memory and how we perceive it. And while there’s not much action in the movie, there’s one scene that simply blew me away. You kind of wish there were more of them but what can you do?
Featuring a familiar yet refreshing detective story, The Secret in Their Eyes is a movie worth watching. This is what Rabbit Reviews is all about, recommending you great movies. With a runtime of just over two hours, pick your night carefully for this one. Savor every moment of it because movies like this are very rare. And if you’re looking for something similar, start with two Spanish masterpieces Sleep Tight and No Rest for the Wicked.
Director: Juan José Campanella
Writers: Eduardo Sacheri, Juan José Campanella
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella, Carla Quevedo
Fun Stuff: There are 109 takes featuring special effects. Mostly because of the fact that movie takes place in the past, so certain modern objects had to be erased or altered, including an entire train.