The Secret in Their Eyes (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/08/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 129 mins

Beautifully made and superbly written, this is an emotionally absorbing thriller with a terrific central performance from Ricardo Darin.

What's it all about?
The winner of the 2010 Oscar for best foreign film, The Secret in Their Eyes is directed by Juan Jose Campanella and stars Ricardo Darin (Nine Queens) as Benjamin Esposito, a recently retired criminal court investigator, whose efforts to write a novel are frustrated when he finds himself unable to shake the memories of a 25-year-old murder case. After visiting his ex-superior Irene (Soledad Villamil), who's now a high court judge, Benjamin decides to reinvestigate the case and we flash back to his first view of the crime scene, where a beautiful young woman was raped and murdered.

As Benjamin attempts to recall the details of the case, the various events unfold, from the questioning of the victim's troubled husband (Pablo Rago) to the discovery and arrest of a probable suspect (Javier Godino), only for the authorities to subsequently let him go for nefarious purposes of their own. At the same time, Benjamin considers his relationship history with both Irene and his old colleague Pablo (Guillermo Francella).

The Good
Ricardo Darin is superb as Benjamin, delivering strong performances in both timelines and generating powerful chemistry with the equally wonderful Villamil - the title is never fully explained but is surely at least partly intended to refer to the way they look at each other. There's also terrific support from Francella, Godino and Rago.

The film is beautifully shot throughout, with sumptuous and inventive cinematography by Felix Monti – you strongly suspect that the bravura, all-in-one take football stadium chase sequence had a lot to do with the film winning the best foreign film Oscar. There's also a superb score by Federico Jusid and Emilio Kauderer that adds considerably to the film's swirling blend of reality, memory, fiction and fantasy.

The Great
The script is excellent. The plot unfolds like a traditional detective story with a powerful story of unrequited love bubbling away at the sidelines. There are also some terrific scenes along the way, including a powerful ending that delivers one hell of a final punch.

Worth seeing?
The Secret in Their Eyes is an emotionally engaging, beautifully made thriller with a note-perfect performance from Ricardo Darin. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

The Secret in Their Eyes (18)
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Content updated: 21/07/2017 23:51

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