Movie Review: The Secret in their Eyes/El secreto de ses ojos(2009)



2010’s Oscar Best Foreign Film, an Argentine film that has been adapted by Hollywood with the same name, but without “The”. I have no plans to see the Hollywood’s until it hits the DVD rack, cause no way it will stand up to the original.

This is one of those films best to watch without knowing exactly what it’s about. So my advice, don’t read anything that include spoilers after you have seen it. One thing though, do take the title seriously!

We are in 1970’s, during Argentina’s Dirty War, where the military was planning a coup, and citizens were taken, bitten and some disappeared, and the “Law” turned a blind eye of what’s going on. Irene Menéndez Hastings(Soledad Villamil) graduated from Cornell, her boss mistaken as Harvard, had joined court 42 as a newly minted prosecutor. Her employees, or deputy was Benjamín Esposito (Ricardo Darín), barely finished high-school, and his assistant was Pablo Sandoval(Guillermo Francella). Judge Lacalle(Mario Alarcón) had assigned Benjamín with a rape and murder case, which supposed to be handled by Romano(Mariano Argento)…Begrudgingly, Benjamín went to the crime scene; his eyes fixated on the naked bloody corpse of a young woman, Liliana Coloto(Carla Quevedo). 

Her husband, Ricardo Morales (Pablo Rago), took the news fairly well, without extreme emotions, or desperate cry for justice.

25 years later, Judge Hastings meets Benjamín in her chamber! He is retired, but the Morales’ case is still bothering him, he wants to find closure through his fictional novel, and he asks Irene as his reader.

At one point, Benjamín asks Ricardo why he never gets married again, his answer, “It’s complicated.”  Benjamín says the same with his sole failed marriage. Those words were served as metaphor more so than mere conversations between the two. As audience you will eventually see to it that a thriller is not a thriller, a murder case is not for solving, an obsession is a mere projection, and fear is missing A love. So does Irene later concur that it will be complicated.

A film you will grow to love as more you think about it. Willamil and Darín, their performances would put shame to any leads of those overt lovers of Nicholas Spark’s films. Just that, is worth the tickets price. 

Other worthwhile mention was Pablo, who played an alcoholic that his boss, Benjamín totally supported; he single-handedly might have turned a serious murder case into a farce. Isidoro Gómez(Javier Godino), an old friend of Liliana, was a football fanatic, detained illegally as the prime suspect of Liliana’s death, and the interchange between Prosecutor Hastings and him would come to a shocking revelation that beheld your eyes. Not to mention, Benjamín‘s.

WATCH…an intrigue story(-ies) goes beyond what we are seeing! Choking ending…


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