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"El Secreto de sus Ojos" hit me with unspeakable strength. I didn't
expect to like it so much, so I owe a review to those in analysis
measures before seeing it or those interested in some opinion.
First off, Campanella works with flawless effort all of the technical aspects of the film. It even starts with a double exposure effect, mixed with some sad shots of a beautiful Buenos Aires that hints the spectacle ahead of us. One shot especially, from a chopper in a soccer field edited with a crane shot is breathtaking. Nothing to envy from Hollywood upper class.
But the main strength of the movie comes from the powerful narrative dominion Director Campanella has over characters, spaces and silences. Many moments are coldly tense, scary and very, very intense. This crossover from genres by Campanella couldn't have been better. Crime stories often fall in common places, this one relies on the fragile psychological state of the audience to draw all of it's intense dialog, acting and scenes.
I cannot stop recommending it, Argentina can open it's market with movies such as this. It has many, many memorable moments, it interwines comedy perfectly and it is doubtful you will instantly forget it, as it is so well constructed. See it if you can!
Simply put, this is one of the finest films I've ever seen. I don't say
that lightly, I don't exaggerate when it comes to talking about movies
-- but everything about this one, from the acting to the writing, to
the camera work, to the directorial decisions, is grade A. The story
deals with deep matters, and it does so one step at a time, with a plot
that moves steadily forward, gathering force, substance and intensity,
not settling for easy answers or plot points, not cutting corners. The
characters are complicated, interesting, believable, flawed, funny,
tragic and deeply human.
I prefer not to get specific about what happens -- I mostly want to try to get across the quality of this bugger. So I'll say it again: it's one of the best films I've ever seen, as good as anything out there. If there's any justice, a lot of people will see it.
This is it. A film that you can't get your eyes off until lights are
back on... and then it's still difficult to stand up. A thriller, with
lovable main characters, that makes you smile and think. A movie about
a crime and a love. It has one of best chase scenes I've ever seen,
involving what seems to be real complex camera work, something that
could've been part of a Lord of the Rings movie maybe (at least that is
what it looked like from my seat). Simply amazing. The acting is
perfect. The pace is perfect. The ending couldn't be better (and we
have seen so many great films that spoil it all at the end!).
Just go see it and enjoy what cinema should always be. It's a 10 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is quite frankly an astonishing film. One that fills your entire array of senses and sensitivities, and the praise from Argentine reviewers here is 100 percent justified. Ricardo Darín turns in another majestic performance as a Buenos Aires court employee who is fiercely affected by the rape and murder of a young girl in 1974, a tragedy that dominates his life. Overlapping this theme is the powerfully sensual but never physical relationship between Darín and his superior, the investigating judge played by the superb Soledad Villamil. The connection between the two is electric. It's a pity this film cannot easily transcend the language barrier, if it was an English-language film of the same quality it would already be hailed as a masterpiece. The blending of tragedy, love, violence and humour is brilliant, and the comedy dialogue fantastic. One scene where Ricardo Darín is balled out for having searched an old lady's house is priceless in terms of comic timing and delivery. A wonderful performance also from Guillermo Francella as the court clerk with a drinking problem, in fact the secondary acting is all first-class. The camera-work is impressive, especially the swoop down into the football stadium and the closeups, and the script is also superb. Argentina has nominated the film as its candidate for best foreign film at the Oscar's, it deserves to walk it.
In my country, Juan José Campanella is synonym of 'cinema of the
highest order'. The director works in USA and from time to time he
brings a new film. We know, dramatically, what we're going to watch:
Ricardo Darín in an important role, a lot of sentimentalism, references
to the country's past, a love story. And technically, if it's the
highest order, there won't be any complaints. When the film ended, the
people in the movie theater started clapping.
"El secreto de sus ojos" tells the story of Benjamín Esposito (Darín) and his need to tell the story of a case that wasn't completely solved 25 years ago and had an important impact in his life. A woman raped and killed and a husband with the surname Morales (Pablo Rago) who went every day to every train station in Buenos Aires to see if he could find the killer. "You have to see his eyes; they are in a state of pure love", Benjamín professes in front of Irene Hastings (Soledad Villamil); his boss and the woman he loves.
There are things we never forget, Campanella knows well, and that might be the film's most important declaration. We expect from the director a powerful love that grows with the years, as we saw with Darín and Villamil in "El mismo amor, la misma lluvia"; we expect characters with inner ghosts, things to hide and things to hold on to; we expect total control over the language of the environment (in "El mismo amor..." it was a magazine staff, in "Luna de Avellaneda" the neighborhood club), a knowledge of the customs and the way of speaking of characters that makes for day-to-day comedy. In this aspect, the casting of Guillermo Francella as Pablo Sandoval is crucial. Taking the place of the best friend role always in charge of Fernando Blanco, the comedian plays a drunk with a lot of respect for friendship. His change of look, the measurement of his composition and how he enlightens it with comic touches make for one of the year's best performances.
That's about everything we can expect. The fact is "El secreto de sus ojos" is a very good movie because there are things we don't see coming. The film contains a treatment of a police investigation that hasn't been seen in our cinema for years. In his riskiest picture, Campanella flirts with thriller, mystery and real action (handy-cam included); he acquires true tension and a sequence in a soccer stadium is the best example of it. He understands when silence is required and when the loneliness of the characters each of them with a rich, mysterious private and inner world- must be seen fully. It's quite embarrassing in fact, because Darín as a director tried to achieve something like that with "La señal". Even though it's obvious Campanella took no inspiration from that film, everything that went wrong there can be seen here, improved. And Soledad Villamil is no femme fatale. I take a risk, however, and defy you to tell me if, because of image and makeup resemblance, and disposition of images and voice in off, the movie towards the finish line doesn't take direct inspiration from Chris Nolan's "The Prestige". It's quoting it somehow, at least.
It's very moving to watch excellent performances from recognized actors. We've seen them on screen so much, we know what they do, we admire them and respect them and, as with Campanella, we tend to know what to expect. However, sometimes they enchant us with every face in every frame, with every word in every conversation. I'm trying to explain to you the feeling of what Villamil and Darín do in this film: it's enchanting and contagious, purely human (as it occurred in "El mismo amor..."), but at the same time moving, simply because they're not unprofessional actors that fit in the look of the film, or young actors with expressive faces, or newcomers that take our breath away: they are Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil. Campanella has a lot to do with this, because he knows how to make them work together and he made an effort so they would not repeat what they had given us in the other film I've mentioned.
The fact that Fernando Castets didn't write the film calls our attention; the script was written by the director and Eduardo Sacheri. It also calls our attention that Campanella himself edited the movie. Is this film-making of the highest order? I believe so, in our country, and speaking of something commercially successful too. It's the only movie seen by many people that can generate interest in revising the director's previous work and, who knows, maybe other national pieces.
One of the most perfect movie i have ever seen.This type of movie come
once in a while,and remains with you for a long time.
The best thing of the movie is cinematography that makes movie so beautiful.They use camera so well and scenes are shot so beautifully especially soccer match scene.They give a very realistic feel to movie. the scene of the crime is shown very realistic.
Great acting by all the actors.all characters are very well portrait by actors.
The story of the movie is so emotional and deeply involving and have very well written dialogues. this movie kept me so engaged with all the perfect twists and pace. this movie have everything crime,romance,drama,thriller and have some moments that makes you laugh.
Direction of the movie is flawless,this movie is almost perfect in all the departments.I hardly found any mistake in the movie.
This movie deserves at least three Oscar nomination this year for screenplay ,cinematography and best movie in foreign language.
This movie is a masterpiece and will be remembered among greatest movies ever made(at least by me).
I give this movie 10/10
Last night I went to watch this flick, and I must say that all in all, I ended up quite surprised because of it's impressive quality. Taking into account that I was already expecting superior film, indeed, it came out to be even more outstanding than I thought, mainly because of the rare combination of noir genre with very precise and measured funny moments and especially an incredibly faithful description of the Argentine system of justice and the characters that compose it. This last element is just perfect. The movie keeps your attention all the time -no decays at all- and the set design is also great, to such extent that it left me wondering what the tricks of the trade employed to achieve such similarity are. Foreign watchers might not fully understand some great details that are mainly local, but anyway they will surely enjoy the thrilling aspects of the film. It would be enough for them to say that almost all this locale's are just true, no matter how incredible they might look.
I am a big movie aficionado and watch a lot of movies. I guess you can
say movies are my passion. After watching The Secret in their Eyes,
though I confess I had my reservations as the movie was in a foreign
language and I felt I won't be able to enjoy much as the real emotions
and feelings mostly can't be conveyed in translations. Thus with such
thoughts I proceeded to watch the movie.
Initially, the plot and the character build up seemed nothing out of the ordinary but then gradually as the movie progressed it held me in rapt attention.
Then it was simply impossible to let go, I was entirely swathed in this marvelous and sublime creation. The story line, the direction,the acting, editing, background music etc. simply sublime.
This is the kind of movie which mesmerizes you, captivates you and simply won't let go. The human emotions expressed and portrayed are bound to touch the viewer regardless of the region he belongs to.
This is the kind of movie which exemplifies that cinema has no boundaries and has an universal appeal. A must see for all movie aficionados and movie well deserving the Oscar.
This movie ought to go in Top 250 movies of all times and Hall of fame.
I agree with SanFava. I am a follower of Campanella's and Darin. I have seen all previous three films. However, this one surpasses them all!. This is a great script, top-notch acting by everyone, partly thanks to the excellent casting. Superb cinematography. The film basically explores what "passion" is to the human being. A great passion (on various areas) is involved in almost all characters. You have suspense, a clever detective story, some surprising twists, etc. Darin has an "aura" (paraphrasing the the title of the film he worked in, "The Aura") that illuminates the whole screen. His presence is as powerful in the screen as that of Gene Hackman, Pacino, DeNiro or Hoffman (the top, great ones). I sincerely hope this movie gets his due awards (Oscar included), because it deserves so!).
Wow what a great movie really! It began like a simple crime story but the wonderful use of subjects, symbols and strong references turned it in to a masterpiece. Details about Eva Peron's Argentina and questioning of the terms of law and justice. My interest is increasing for Latin American Cinema when I watch such beautiful works. By the way I watched this movie in It's original language. Subtitles were translated into English. I think by using "Google Translate" which sucks. But I had to use it cause there was not any subtitle in my native language yet. Despite all these problems, it was so impressive. You shall see it at once!
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