Monday, January 25, 2010

#382: Caché (2005)

Director: Michael Haneke
Cast: Daniel Auteuil & Juliette Binoche

Georges, a public television personality and his wife Anne are being terrorized by an unseen observer. They receive video tapes of their own front door, taken from a distance. The tapes are wrapped in sheets of paper with disturbing, childlike drawings, each with a streak of red across the subject of the image. The couple tries to continue lives as normal, but paranoia begins to eke its way into their personalities.

It's hard to imagine that Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a roll in the making of this film. It's so up his alley that it almost seems like it's 50 years too late in the making, though at the same time has a modern feel to it. I suppose the fear of the unknown is timeless.

Now, some spoilers.

The end of the film at first seemed like one of the most lame ways to go that I could imagine - you don't find out a single thing. You don't know who was watching them, you don't even know the full intention of why a man had killed himself. Majid, whose parents worked for Georges' parents when they were kids, may have killed himself out of guilt or out of pure anger for the way Georges treated him in his childhood. Basically, everything was left open, and you realize there may have been no threat whatsoever to Georges and Anne besides the threat posed by their own fears.

But then! What a surprise I got when I found out that there was a subtle inclusion at the very end of the film that tells us that we haven't half of the story. Majid's son, who played a very minor role in the film, is seen with Georges' and Anne's son amidst a crowd of students waiting to be picked up from school. These two characters have no reason of knowing each other, and who knows what they could be discussing, or what plots are possibly being made by Majid's son.

There are no cheap tricks with this film, and coming out of it is initially disappointing, but this one has stuck with me for days now. While I might not recommend it to everyone off the bat, it's worth a shot.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
In the scene right after the main character leaves Hajid's apartment and hides in a movie theater we can see posters of several European successful films. One of them is "La mala educación" by Pedro Almodóvar, another one is "Les choristes" (2004) directed by Christophe Barratier.
Voted "Best Film of the Noughties" by UK newspaper The Times.

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