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Cache (Hidden) (2005)
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Review Date: December 18, 2005
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Michael Haneke
Producers: Viet Heiduschka
Actors:
Daniel Auteuil as Georges
Juliette Binoche as Anne
Maurice Benichou as Majid
Plot:
An upper-class French man and wife start receiving anonymous videotapes on their front porch featuring their home and other parts of their lives. After a few days, the tapes include strange pictures. Spooked, the couple decide to involve the police, who unfortunately cannot help unless there is an actual crime. Confused, the couple become somewhat paranoid as the element of trust and their past comes into play. A French flick ensues.
Critique:
As seen at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival


This is not your straight-forward American thriller or suspense. This is, without a doubt, a “European” film, that presents itself as a curiosity, as its premise is ripe with questions and hypotheses, but unlike its American counterparts, provides no easy answers. In fact, as I prepared myself for a scene in which the ultimate culprit behind all of the misdoings in the film was apparently going to be revealed, its end credits started to roll, leaving me with that “what the —?” look on my face. It was upon further examination that I understand that the film’s premise and development wasn’t meant to have any easy answers (or any straight-forward answers, actually), but meant instead, to represent a metaphor of how France or Western cultures have mistreated Third world countries, and not felt much guilt about it. I say all this because if you read this film’s premise and expect to watch it and find yourself involved in a great ol’ mystery, you will likely be very disappointed, as the film actually does set everything up in that way, with a steady pace leading to more clues, more questions answered, less trust and more people involved in the plot, but with no scenes in which it actually provides you with the answers, straight-out; in fact, there may not be an “answer” to the film’s questions, after all. I saw this movie by myself, so I wasn’t able to discuss my theories with anyone afterwards, but if that’s what you enjoy doing, this might be just the type of film that you will want to see with someone who also likes dissecting films after a viewing.

From a technical standpoint, the film delivers with superb directing, which utilizes plenty of POV shots (point of view) and steady-cams across the street that make you feel like a voyeur at many times. In fact, sometimes you will be watching a scene and realize only later that it’s actually a videotape version of something, as the couple rewinds it on the big screen. Now while I was totally into this film’s mystery, with a great leading performance by Daniel Auteuil, as the man who slowly but surely begins to “come clean” about some stuff from his own childhood, and disappointed by its entirely open-ending conclusion, I was more than engaged by the film’s storyline, mystery, suspense, characters and ultimate analogy to today’s modern world dynamics (any U.S./Iraq connections are purely…intentional!), and from that sense, fulfilled me as a different kind of movie experience. So while the film will likely not fully satisfy viewers who like their “thrillers” a lot more straight-forward (this puppy is much closer to David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY than THE HAND ROCKS THE CRADLE), it will surely be appreciated by those who enjoy social commentary laced in their suspense or flicks about suppressed guilt, mistrust and secrets in a marriage and lots and lots of questions with few answers. I liked the movie overall, really loved its direction and actors, and was pretty caught up all the way through, so that’s saying a lot. That said, be warned…it’s definitely not for everyone!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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3:54PM on 03/25/2009

Average

I saw the movie. i think is a average movie but the story if new.
I saw the movie. i think is a average movie but the story if new.
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10:37AM on 01/29/2006

Fantastic!...

I admit, when the film began I thought I had gotten myself into something I really wasn't in the mood to see; a slow paced thriller where nothing happens. Not the case. First off, I love the opening credits. I hate to say it, but the fact that the film is shot in digital works perfectly since it keeps you guessing throughout as to wethere you're watching the movie or the tapes (watch the movie to know what I'm talking about). Also, the film picks up and features some truly shoking scenes along
I admit, when the film began I thought I had gotten myself into something I really wasn't in the mood to see; a slow paced thriller where nothing happens. Not the case. First off, I love the opening credits. I hate to say it, but the fact that the film is shot in digital works perfectly since it keeps you guessing throughout as to wethere you're watching the movie or the tapes (watch the movie to know what I'm talking about). Also, the film picks up and features some truly shoking scenes along the way. The ending features a blink and you'll miss head scratcher, but man is it fun to talk about it afterwards. If you don't care for that kind of stuff, just walk away or don't see this movie at all. you won't find any easy answers here, and yes you might wind up thinking its pretentious. I personally think its easily one of the best movies I've seen in the last year.
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1:51PM on 12/19/2005

crap!

I saw this film at the TO Film Festival and absolutely hated it!
Slow. Extremely boring. WAY too long.
Just because it's french, doesn't make it "art" and it certainly doesn't make it a masterpiece (as most reviewers seem to think).
I saw this film at the TO Film Festival and absolutely hated it!
Slow. Extremely boring. WAY too long.
Just because it's french, doesn't make it "art" and it certainly doesn't make it a masterpiece (as most reviewers seem to think).
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