Keeva Stratton, Quip Creative
Written and Directed by: Juan José Campanella
Starring: Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil
Consumed by the memory of his most horrifying case, the rape and murder of a young woman, former Buenos Aires State Court Criminal investigator, Benjamin Espósito (Darin), attempts to write a novel in the hope that it will finally put his demons to rest. As he begins his research on the 25 year old case, he finds that many old wounds are reopened, from the loss of a close friend to the love for a woman which was never realised.
Presented through a blend of flashbacks and current day sequences, this is a powerful, haunting tale, that looks at the dual impact of obsessive love and hate, occurring over a lifetime. Espósito himself has become fixated on the husband of the victim, unable to comprehend how he continues, day in day out, with the knowledge that the killer has got away with it. Unable to leave this man alone, Espósito soon finds himself burdened with more knowledge than he was expecting and confronted by a conundrum that he hadn’t anticipated.
Also occupying his thoughts and attention is Irene Menéndez Hastings (Villamil). Once the attractive secretary of the court, Hastings is now heading an arm of the judicial system in her own right. His relationship with Hastings was deeply affected in the early years by the the murder, and ironically, like the husband of the victim, the crime also forced Espósito to be separated from his love.
Having won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 2010, this is a film that now carries sizable expectations, and it certainly delivers. The performances are strong, the writing and direction is impressive, the cinematography is beautiful, and the narrative is compelling. The tension that is built between the characters is crafted masterfully and the sense of satisfaction when you leave the cinema is immense.
Campanella, who has a strong following in his homeland, has given us a taste of his brilliance and has left us with a hunger for more. Some of the scenes are graphic, but they do present the horror and the sorrow that is so critical for the honest representation of rape and murder.
This is a film that will move you, and it will haunt you. But there is no doubt that it will impress you. El Secreto De Sus Ojos is out now in limited release.
Category: Film & TV