El Secreto De Sus Ojos [The Secret In Their Eyes]

The Secret In Their Eyes Poster

This is an Argentinean crime drama set from the perspective of a retired criminal investigator who is looking back and rethinking a murder case from 25 years earlier and also rethinking the situations and people he found himself with at the time. Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín) has spent the intervening years hung up on the case and quite clearly hung up on his former boss Irene as well (Soledad Villamil) and with his new retirement he finds himself thinking about them both a lot and is itching to retread the story.

You might be thinking “Oh dear” at the very opening scene, but don’t turn off as when you see it in context it makes a lot more sense. In fact, from early on it sets out a warm, flowing feel. It’s a film which has to reveal things in two time periods separated by 25 years and this is well crafted, with sounds bleeding from one scene to the other as they would do in your head. The two main actors manage to play both ages surprisingly well and Guillermo Francella makes an entertaining sidekick as Pablo Sandoval.

There are two particularly good and memorable scenes. One involves a helicopter shot approaching a football stadium, transitioning into another camera seamlessly and dropping right into the crowd to follow Espósito and Sandoval around the stadium. This has been mentioned before as the film actually won the best foreign language film at the Oscars a couple of years ago and it’s technically great to see. Another scene which really struck me, however, was in a lift with a government agent reloading his gun while Espósito and Irene watch. Very tense and powerful and the look at the very end is great!

It’s not without problems – you can’t help thinking “GET ON WITH IT!!” to
Espósito a few times, but definitely a good film worth a watch.

4 on 5

Director: Juan José Campanella
Starring: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Guillermo Francella
UK Release: 13th August 2010


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