Juan José Campanella and Eduardo Sacheri (writers, based on a novel by Eduardo Sacheri), Juan José Campanella (director) The Secret in Their Eyes / 2009; opened in the USA in 2010
Winner of the 2010 Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film, Argentine director Juan José Campanella's film is a smart mix of contemporary detective story, love story, and political mystery, all combined with a bit of film noirish style, which makes it highly appealing, if not a great event in the cinema.
Benjamín Esposito (Ricardo Darín), a former police detective, determined to write a novel on an old, closed case of twenty-five years before, returns to the public offices of his former superior, Irene Menéndez-Hastings to ask her permission for him to reopen the records of that brutal event. I don't know what secret the title is referring to regarding their eyes, but it is clear the moment the two reencounter one another that Benjamín has been in love—and remains in love—with the head-detective, emotions clearly intertwined with the case itself.
On June 21st, 1974, Ricardo Morales had breakfast with Liliano Coloto for
the last time. For the rest of his life he'd remember every single detail of
that morning. Planning their first vacation... Drinking tea with lemon for his
nagging cough...with his usual lump and a half of sugar. The fresh berry jam
he'd never taste again. The flowers printed on her nightgown...and especially,
her smile. That smile like the sunrise...blending in with the sunlight on her
By the middle of the film, however, when questioned by Esposito, Morales suggests that the worst thing about the shell of life is that he is "beginning to forget," is unable to remember certain experiences with and images of his wife.
Irene Menéndez Hastings: It'll be complicated.
Benjamín Esposito: I don't care.
Irene Menéndez Hastings: Shut the door.
Los Angeles, November 8, 2010
Reprinted from Nth Position [England] (December 2010).