Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
Set in France, Georges is a TV Literary Reviewer and lives in a small yet modern town house with his wife Ann, a publisher and his young son Pierrot. They begin to receive video tapes through the post of their house and family, along side obscure child-like drawings. They visit the police with hope of aid to find the stalker, but as there is no direct threat, they refuse to help. As the tapes become more personal, Georges takes it upon himself to figure out who is putting through his family through such horror. A true Michael Haneke Classic. Written by
This film was the official submission of Austria for the Academy Awards in the 'Best Foreign-Language Film' category, but was disqualified then because it was not "predominantly shot in the official language of the submitting country," but rather in French. The controversy that ensued over that - as well as the virtually simultaneous disqualification of Italy's submission of the Arabic- and Hebrew-language film Private (2004) - prompted the foreign language committee to enact a rule change the following year that made any language acceptable in a foreign language submission - hence Canada's submission of a Hindi-language film in 2007 (Water (2005)) and Australia's of a German-language film in 2012 (Lore (2012)). Any language, that is, except English. See more »
During the tape where Georges pulls up in his car and parks at night the headlights clearly cast a huge distinct shadow of the camera on the wall. See more »
Isn't it lonely, if you can't go out?
Why? Are you less lonely because you can sit in the garden? Do you feel less lonely in the metro than at home? Well then! Anyway, I have my family friend... with remote control. Whenever they annoy me, I just shut them up.
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When hiding can be revealing -- one of the top films of the 2000s
If you've just seen "Cachê" and are still (understandably) in shock, not knowing whether you really liked it or not, let me ask you a few questions. Now, when was the last time a film:
a) had you glued to your seat as in "Caché", your eyes and neurones required to work in full gear from beginning to end, making it impossible to erase it out of your mind (instead of the instantly forgettable films you see every week), and actually making a second viewing almost compulsory?
b) posed such complex, multi-layered questions -- socio-political ones (the shameful, violent legacy of past and present imperialist nations, the manipulation of "reality" by the State and the media), existential ones (the racial, class and social prejudices that we all carry and have to fight within ourselves), and more prosaic ones, like trying to solve a complicated thriller? When were they so masterly interwoven?
c) made you aware that your explanation for the movie's most immediate, "practical" question (who's sending the tapes to Georges) will be influenced by your own background and prejudices?
d) had such a controversial and rich ending? (I could think of at least five possible denouements, even considering that I DID see the two boys -- q.v. the multiple theories about the ending in "Caché"'s message boards here in IMDb).
"Caché" is one of the few real masterpieces of the 2000s. The mix of socio-political comment with the thriller genre is not new, of course (you can go back at least to great German silent films by Lang, Murnau, Dieterle, Pabst). In 2005 alone, Cronenberg made the half-successful "A History of Violence", Spielberg the underachieved "Munich", Stephen Gaghan the overwrought "Syriana", Paul Haggis the soap-operatic "Crash". But Haneke asks us and gives us much more: he demands our ability to fill in the many important historical and political gaps, messes with our prejudices but respects our intelligence, and knows that a good part of us viewers are bored to death of being spoon-fed with one-digit I.Q. plots in mechanical thrillers inhabited by tired, phony "archetypes" of good x evil characters.
"Caché" is a monumental proof of Haneke's COMPLETE command of his craft. Artistic achievements like this are now SO rare in films that "Caché" feels like a happening -- a work of art that is mind-boggling, hypnotic and physically unnerving, ethically and esthetically disturbing, combining the sense of revelation and discomfort you get with the best political films with the braincells workout you get with the best thrillers.
As I left the theater, three masterpieces immediately came to my mind: Clouzot's "Le Corbeau" (a political statement disguised as a thriller and a probable inspiration for "Caché"), Antonioni's "The Passenger" (ditto, and also for the long, breathtaking, "open-meaning" last shot) and Resnais' "Marienbad" (the seminal film of multi-layered possible interpretations of "reality"). "Caché" stands tall on its own, reaffirming Haneke as one the top-5 working directors of the 2000s. Can't wait for his next film -- but while I do, I'll watch "Caché" one more time, and understand that hiding (Georges hiding his past and his feelings, nations hiding shameful parts of their history, Haneke hiding evidence, explanations and conclusions) can be a form of powerful revelation...and self-revelation.
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