Directed by Michael Haneke.
Written by Michael Haneke.
Starring Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Lester Makedonsky and
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 2/5/06
Even though it's got the biggest whoa moment
in a flick I've seen this year, the international (French & German,
from the looks of it) production "Caché", or "Hidden", ultimately
fails to deliver on what I thought was strong initial promise.
TV personality Georges Laurent (Daniel
Auteuil), husband of a beautiful arts peddler named Anne (Juliette
Binoche) and father of a cute little kid (Lester Makedonsky), gets
home one day and finds his wife watching a videotape that's a little
disturbing: it's two hours of footage of a camera trained on
the front doorstep of their house, including what looks like both
Anne and Georges leaving the house to go to work in the morning.
The videotape, left on their front doorstep, was wrapped in a
childlike drawing of a random kid's face drawn with blood spewing out of
the kid's mouth. More of these tapes and accompanying pictures
are left on the Laurent doorstep, terrorizing the family and driving
Georges to find out just what the fuck is going on.
It is the initial hour of "Caché" that is
truly excellent work. Thanks to the lack of a score and
long-running shots of the footage from each videotape, the mood is
tense as we try to figure out why somebody is stalking Georges and
his family. Eventually, the tapes get away from showing the
family's front door and begin to give us clues of why the tape
to be stalking Georges' past, specifically...and from there,
it is the investigation into who's behind this that should make this
flick a star. Instead, it is the answer to these
questions--and, the lack of answers, in some cases--that made my
buddy Yac, his friend Cameron and I all say "what the fuck is going
on here" by the time the thing was all over.
But as a ride, the film is a solid drama
with excellent performances by both Auteuil and Binoche. As an
experience, you want to be in a theater when we get our penultimate
violent moment in the film--you know somebody's in trouble, but when
it happens, whoa, whoa, whoa. Yac almost lost his shit!
As a visual, "Caché" is awesome, with good-looking shots of
interiors, moody shots of dank, rundown hallways and close-ups of
characters during emotional duress. But, the last ten minutes
really brought the total package down for me, and to know what I
mean, you have to see the dadgum movie.
I'll admit, I was fired up for this one, but
I had issue with the flick's script near the end and ultimately
think that "Caché" is just so-so. A STRONG so-so, but you know
how that goes!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard