2002: Ray Kasten (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess Cobb (Julia Roberts) are two investigators in a private police unit led by the DA. When they receive an anonymous tip about a girl raped and killed, they rush to the scene. Ray realizes it is Jess' daughter and the team falls apart due to the grief. In 2015, Ray comes back to LA, and says that after 13 years, he has found a lead and convinces the DA to reopen the case. They find clues and leads unknown to them, and secrets from the past come to light as they start discovering the real, chilling truth. Meanwhile, Jess, dissatisfied with the law, decides to take matters into her own hands and track down the killer, no matter what lengths she has to go to.Written by
The secret is out..."Secret in Their Eyes" could have been so much better
Hollywood loves to remake foreign language films and it's at it again with an Argentinian film that was made only six years ago. The Secret in Their Eyes received the Best Foreign Language Oscar but there's no chance for this production to be even nominated in any Oscar categories. I haven't seen the original so I can't compare the two movies but knowing Hollywood's track record with remakes, the Argentinian version would have been a superior production.
In 2002, a team of FBI investigators including Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts) along with a newly arrived district attorney, Claire (Nicole Kidman), are based in Los Angeles to prevent terrorists from inflicting more damage to the American way of life after 9/11 the previous year. The agency receives a call about an incident that has taken place in the vicinity of a mosque. Thinking this is terror-related they make the grim discovery of a murdered young lady who just so happens to be Jess' daughter, Carolyn (Zoe Graham). The agents make an arrest but the man is released as he is a snitch for the FBI, providing names of terrorists to the organization. For 13 years, Ray logs onto the criminal database and eventually finds the man who might have been responsible for Carolyn's death. Will justice be served after 13 years?
The main problem with the story is the ridiculous number of flashbacks throughout the whole film. There are even flashbacks within flashbacks. The flow of the narrative is constantly interrupted and there are occasions where you have to think when the story is being set. As for the story itself, it is rather lacking in thrills which takes away the dramatic impact of the whole situation. This is rarely edge of your seat material which is a shame as the story should lend itself to a tense and dramatic thriller.
What the story does well is provide character interactions and depict why people act and behave the way they do. If you are after a character study then you will be happier with the development of the story. For characterizations to excel you need actors who you can empathize with. Ejiofor is the main star and he performs with distinction while Roberts doesn't have as many scenes but she is excellent in conveying her emotions. Kidman is overshadowed by her counterparts but still manages to bring her character to life. Dean Norris as FBI agent Bumpy Willis brings some humor to his role, ensuring that the tone of the story isn't dour for the whole film. Alfred Molina has several scene- stealing scenes as District Attorney Martin Morales.
A movie with two Oscar winning actresses and an Oscar nominated actor should have been better than this. Here is a definite case of the trailer being more exciting than the film itself. The final product only provides a fraction of what the intriguing premise had to offer. http://mlaimlai2.wix.com/magical-movie-review
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