Movie: The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

(Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos); Country: Argentina; Language: Spanish)

The story revolves around a legal counselor (Ricardo Darín as Benjamin Esposito) and his aide who try to catch the culprit after the rape and murder of a beautiful Buenos Aires girl.

The murderer turns out to be on the payroll of the state agencies as an informer and therefore protected from the criminal proceedings. This does not sit well with Counselor Esposito who disregards official orders and goes after the murderer. His friend and colleague is killed as hired assassins are sent to get rid of him. He leaves the city and lives his life in another town for the next twenty five years.

The film starts with Counselor Esposito trying to write a novel about the said case now that he is retired, divorced and lonely, and has nothing important to do. His boss (Soledad Villamil as Irene Hastings) for whom he nurtured tender feelings during the time they spent together on the case helps him with tips and insights to write the novel.

It is exactly during the writing of the novel that the Counselor Esposito actually finds out what happened with the murderer, after twenty five years of the closing of the case.

An engaging script with good dialogues and occasional humour, the film is worth watching but don’t expect too much. My rating 3/5. Here is the IMDb Link.

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One thought on “Movie: The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

  1. Salaam,

    I found your blog via Shiachat (I posted briefly there under the assumed name of Abdul-Hussein). Some very informative (& of course interesting) reviews here (thank you). I’d like to thank you in particular for your cinematic and historical reviews (particularly regarding South Asian history). I’m especially grateful for discovering Takva via your blog.

    My apologies if you’ve already seen it, but may I recommend to you Luis Buñuel’s film Nazarin
    (1959)? I think you’ll enjoy this meditation on religion. It’s sympathetic and all the more remarkable for coming from an avowedly atheist film-maker like Buñuel. Then again, one of the best Jesus (Alayhi Salaam) films was (arguably) made by Pier Paolo Pasolini (an atheist, indeed a Marxist) in The Gospel According to Matthew (1964).

    In terms of a beautiful cinematic portrayal of Islamic spirituality, whilst touching upon themes of immigration and tradition versus modernity, then may I recommend Le Grand Voyage (2004)? The story is about Reda, a young French-Moroccan guy, driving his elderly father from the south of France to Mecca in order for the father to do his pilgrimage. At first distant, they gradually learn to know each other. Mashallah it’s quite simply stunning (especially the final shot)! Again my profound apologies if you’ve already seen it.

    I see that you also have an interest in Balkan history. As a way of satiating your literary and historical interests, may I recommend the following novel set in Ottoman Bosnia: Death and the Dervish by Meša Selimović. It’s is a first-person narrative told from the point of view of Sheikh Nuruddin, a dervish at a Sarajevo tekke in the eighteenth century during the Turkish occupation. The sheikh of a tariqah (which is implied to be the Mevlevi Order), Sheikh Nuruddin has deliberately removed himself from the day-to-day activities of society. This distance is shattered, though, by the arrest of his brother. As Sheikh Nuruddin attempts to find out what has happened to his brother and to intervene on his behalf, he is drawn into the Kafkaesque world of the Turkish authorities. As he does so, he begins to question his relations with society as a whole and, eventually, his life choices in general. A literary masterpiece that was hugely successful when published in Yugoslavia in the 1960s. Some critics call Selimović the Dostoevsky of the Balkans (I agree).

    Ya Ali.

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