EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SECRET IN THEIR EYES, THE (EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS) (director/writer: Juan Jose Campanella; screenwriter: based on the novel "La pregunta de sus ojos" by Eduardo Sacheri; cinematographer: Félix Monti; editor: Juan Jose Campanella; music: Federico Jusid/Emilio Kauderer; cast: Ricardo Darin (Benjamin Esposito), Soledad Villamil (Irene Menendez Hastings), Guillermo Francella (Pablo Sandoval), Pablo Rago (Morales), Javier Godino (Gomez), Jose Luis Gioia (Baez) Carla Quevedo (Liliana Coloto); Runtime: 129; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Carolina Urbieta/Mariela Besuievski/Juan Jose Campanella; Sony Pictures Classics; 2009-Argentina-in Spanish with English subtitles)|
intelligently presented, it never reached my heart."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
It was the winner of the 2010 Best Foreign
Film Oscar (Don't ask me why?). Director/writer
Juan Jose Campanella ("Son of
the Bride") ambitiously aims
for this glossy conventional murder mystery to be politically
insightful about the perversion of justice, have something relevant to
say about frustrated love and the loss of a loved one, leave us with
thoughts about memories playing with the truth, and be a puzzler that
blends romanticism with realism. Campanella has helmed
American TV procedurals like House and Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit. It's
a pic that is well-crafted but hardly touching. It's based
on the novel "La pregunta de
sus ojos" by Eduardo Sacheri.
The plot centers around
retired criminal court investigator Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo
Darin) writing a novel, on an
old typewriter, that's based on a twenty-five year rape and murder case
in 1974, in Buenos Aires. The case remains unresolved and still haunts Benjamin.
He enlists the help of his former boss, now
a judge, Irene Menendez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), for whom he still has a
crush on and never acted upon that feeling because the now married
dreamboat of his life is from the upper-class with a law degree from
Cornell, so much younger and he's only a working stiff with a high
school education. But
Benjamin still sees something in her eyes that tells him she has a
special feeling for him, but like before they both can't express the
true yearnings they have for each other.
The film goes into details
through the decades of how Benjamin and his alcoholic but loyal colleague Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella) originally handled
brutal rape/murder case of the
beautiful Liliana Coloto, the 23-year-old school teacher who recently
married bank teller Morales (Pablo
Rago) and had an ideal
marriage. Through Benjamin's intuition, the police nab the punky
suspect, Gomez (Javier Godino),
at a soccer match a year
later after the case was closed. But the country's military
dictatorship forced sweeping political changes and the suspect was
freed to serve as a spy for the government.
When all is said and done,
the psychological thriller seemed facile and the director didn't have
it in him to infuse the crime of passion mystery story with an
endearing fantasy love story as Preminger did with his 1944 film noir
Laura. Though intelligently presented, it never reached my heart.
REVIEWED ON 6/16/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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