The Secret in Their Eyes

Year: 2009
Production Co: Tornasol Films
Director: Juan José Campanella
Producer: Juan José Campanella
Writer: Juan José Campanella

A while ago I watched Julia's Eyes, and because this movie has the same word in the title and comes from a Spanish director in Spanish, I somehow expected it to have similarly horror film elements without really looking into it.

It doesn't, and I'm not saying it needs them, but it needs something. The whole thing is pretty much merely a melodramatic potboiler mystery thriller without too many thrills.

Ben is a retired law clerk who comes back to visit his former boss, the smart and beautiful senior magistrate Irene he's always been in love with but never dared do anything about. He's been writing a novel he's having trouble finishing and has found himself haunted by a rape and murder case they never solved 20 years before.

The film spends more time back when the case happened and the new girl at the office (Irene) arrives and captures everyone's hearts. It's a long movie and a lot goes on involving the victim's husband, the guy they eventually discover is the murderer but who's gone on to an even darker life thanks to government corruption and the drunken co-worker who gets caught up in it all – with tragic circumstances.

There's something lost in the translation to English – whether there's more passion and drama in the natural Spanish language of the film or the actors just avoided high emotional notes, it all just feels like a table read devoid of any real passion.

And like all twisty, turny, plot-heavy foreign language films that get any kind of profile internationally, it's being remade in America as I write this.

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