Sunday, October 3, 2010

El secreto de sus ojos


A newly retired legal counselor decides to write a novel based on a rape-murder case closed two decades ago in which he participated, bringing back all the haunting memories and the impact its effects have had not only on his life, but on the lives of all those involved as well.

El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in their Eyes) is very appropriate as a title, and the many references to it as the film unfolds makes one marvel on its subtlety. The way the plot is arranged leaves a lot of room for mystery and suspense and the audacity of the dialogue is of great help in keeping the tone of the film light when needed be. Although there are plenty of scenes referring to the romance between the two leads, this does not affect the flow of the main story in a detrimental way, but rather stays on the sidelines developing at its own pace and reaching its own climax as the film ends.

This is, without a doubt, a well-acted film. The Sandoval character is probably one of the few recent movie drunkards who have been effective as a comic relief without trying too hard. His brand of comedy leaves the audience delighted, and his being instrumental in the solving of the case makes him a lot more endearing to the audience. He plays good support to the Esposito character, and he reminds me a lot of Michael Caine, who is also a very good actor.

The film does not end without a twist. In fact you are hit with two, one right after the other. The ending itself, though not as strong as one might expect, is already acceptable given that it is presented as some sort of resolution for Esposito's life-long dilemma around which the film actually revolves.

What intrigued me most were the raves about one particular scene that was shot continuously. Seeing it onscreen verifies the good feedback it received from the audience. It starts with an aerial view of the city with a soccer stadium at the center. As the camera approaches the venue it dives right into the action and the next thing you know you are viewing the game up close before it pans into the audience where the characters are. It ends under ten minutes with a chase scene breathtakingly caught on shaky camera, giving the impression that you are also there running with the characters. Awesome.

There is frontal nudity involved, but is not employed without reason. In fact the vivid imagery elicits shock from the audience, which in turn has made the said scenes more emotionally charged, leaving the audience engaged and very much affected.

I already knew the ending early on because I searched for spoilers a week ago. I just thought that I couldn't see it on the big screen, who knew! Despite that fact I was still able to enjoy the film because of the right balance achieved between many genres, namely suspense, mystery, love story, comedy.

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