Intelligent, thought-provoking stuff
- The Secret in Their Eyes review by Mehitabel
I discovered this film through word-of-mouth recommendations, and since seeing it I've been adding to the groundswell. Tellingly, of the people who recommended it to me, one said it was a murder mystery, one said it was a biography and one said it was a love story. It's a bit of all of these.
To my mind, it was also a meditation on ageing,memory, whether real or false, and on the prisons we build for ourselves. Yes, our hero (if that's the word!), Esposito, a retired cop, is writing an autobiography and yes, it's about an old rape and murder case, which has played on his mind for twenty years. His investigation started with an old photograph of the victim, being watched from behind by a college-mate.. Too many ends were left untied, and now, as he writes his book, he tries to tie them up, with the help of an old police buddy and his former boss.
The role played by the old buddy, Sandoval, a philosophical drunkard, gives the film not only its funniest moments, but its most touching. There are several layers to Esposito's relationship with his former boss, the wonderfully named Irene Hastings; there are no clichés.
I have no idea why this film has an 18 cert. There is one rape scene, near the beginning, which is neck-upwards, lasts a matter of seconds, and is very pertinent. There is also a shot of the photo of the body (naked) also onscreen for a few seconds. And that's it.
My only other quibble is that at the outset, Esposito's assumption about who is, or rather isn't, the murderer seemed too quick, glib and unexplained. But I'd recommend anyone to see this film. It stays with you for a long time - in a good way.
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful.