Mark Metcalf
Moving Pictures

The Secret in Their Eyes

By - May 15th, 2010 04:00 am
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Even though the film begins with a rape and a murder and the plot follows the obsession of one man to solve that crime, The Secret in Their Eyes is a romance, really.

Another man dies, the rapist goes free and the corruption of the Argentine police and an entire political system are revealed to all. But in the twenty-five years it takes to solve the crime, the two people at the center of the story slowly acknowledge their love for each other and finally, at the end, are able to embrace.

I think that in the American version, if there were one, they wouldn’t have been able to keep their hands off one another through the second reel. How is it that the nobility of restraint can be so elevated in one culture and virtually ignored in another?

There is no doubt that Benjamin Esposito and Irene Menendez-Hastings are drawn to each other. There is no doubt that, as one character says, “You can change everything about yourself, but you can’t change your passion.”  They are incapable of changing their passion for each other. What is remarkable and what makes this film rise above so many others is that, out of respect for each other, for their work place environment, and for the institution of marriage, they manage to say ‘no’. In saying no they allow the passion to grow and the depth of their love grows with it and we are swept away with longing and desire.

The wonderful moment of what feels like their final good-bye, when they are near enough to kiss, near enough to embrace, and are aware of the strength of the feeling they have for one another other. But they allow themselves only enough proximity to inhale deeply of each other’s scent and to feel the warmth of each other’s flesh without quite touching, that moment is as rich and passionate, tantalizing and seductive as much of Kar Wai Wong’s work in his mesmerizing In the Mood For Love or the sequel 2046.

Interestingly enough, Kar Wai Wong claims that his style of filmmaking is influenced by the Argentinean author Manuel Puig.

The Secret In Their Eyes
won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film this year. It’s currently playing at the Oriental Theatre.

Categories: Movies

0 thoughts on “Moving Pictures: The Secret in Their Eyes”

  1. Anonymous says:

    That scene is so beautiful. I imagine a random guy shouting: “Kiss, for god sake, already!”. However good hint the almost spoiler with that “another man dies”-that other death is really a mistery in someway-.

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