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
In the opening scene we see the Laurent residence from a stationary camera. Three roses are visible in a window box on the left. In the same setting late in the film after much passage of time, the roses are unchanged and in the same positions. 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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A thriller about social responsibility: Haneke in top form
The title of this engrossing and disturbing new Haneke film is ironic. At the end of the film, Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil) tells his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche) that he will be "caché," hidden, and he takes off his clothes, closes the curtains, and buries himself in bed. It's afternoon. But he will be exposed, as before. "Caché" is about how you can't hide. Auteuil, an actor who naturally looks worried and put-upon, and Binoche, who has a vulnerable and frightened look, play a privileged couple whose son Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky) at twelve is a star swimmer. Georges has a literary TV program (like "Le Bouillon de la Culture"), which, in France, makes him a star. They have a beautiful house in an elegant suburb of Paris. (His childhood home, we learn, was a substantial farm.) Beyond all that are the poor outskirts on the periphery of the French capital, the slums, the projects, the "banlieux," with their Arabs and blacks, French society's underprivileged and mistreated, unemployed and ignored, a population ready to explode into revolt -- as it very dramatically did in November 2005.
Like Haneke's previous "Code Unknown," "Caché" is primarily about alienation and connection. This sounds theoretical and intellectual, but the uncompromising Austrian who now makes his films in French always finds a deep emotional core in his people, in this case a core of the most infinite desperation in both perpetrator and victim. "Code Unknown" focused on chance meetings. "Caché" moves in closer to home, to this family whose peace is shattered and to another family that has never had peace. As the film begins the foreground family begins to receive increasingly menacing videos left on their doorstep that show they are being watched. Georges thinks he knows who it is.
"Caché" blends urban angst with the primal horror of Greek tragedy. What goes around comes around. For what he has explained was his starting point for the film, Haneke elliptically refers within it to the story of hundreds of Algerians the French cast into the Seine in 1961, a story recently unearthed and hitherto largely ignored. Within the film's foreground we discover that as a youth Georges himself betrayed an Algerian playmate in a way that effectively ruined his life. But the events that unfold are full of mystery and foreboding, and the relation between the Algerian, Majid (Maurice Bénichou), and Georges' current terror and disquiet largely remains uncertain. Is this a thriller? Maybe: it has a thriller's progressive unease, the suspense and pulse -- up to the end, anyway -- of a good whodunit. But Haneke, a great director in fine form here, has produced something as intellectually challenging as it is emotionally troubling. He operates without the help of surging background music, jump cuts, or snappy chases. And as the final credits roll, the closing long shot (upon which we are again voyeurs, as when the film began), shows us that nothing is resolved. A highly original artist, Haneke continues to explore.
Seen during its Paris run in October 2005. Shown first in the US at the New York and Chicago Film Festivals in October 2005. Opening in NYC and LA (US release title "Hidden") December 2005, limited US release January 2006. This is a highly visual film and should be seen if possible on a big screen.
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