By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog April 14, 2010 at 5:41AM
The title of the new Argentinean film The Secret in Their Eyes sounds like a crummy Anglicization of a foreign import. Alas, no, it’s a direct translation, and, ultimately, all too fitting for the moth-eaten movie at hand. El Secreto de sus ojos is indeed about the hidden fears, passions, and capital-e Evils one can glean from looking into another’s peepers, be they open and inviting or wide shut. Unfortunately in Juan José Campanella’s film, these windows to the soul reveal little more than superficialities and reflect only hoary movie conventions. Dolorous and self-important in its tendency towards melodrama, this time-jumping portrait of a decades-long murder investigation pales in comparison to the recent, more sobering study of procedural obsession Zodiac, and certainly memories of Memories of Murder, Bong Joon-ho’s unconventionally epic rural mystery, can only serve to expose the breadth of Campanella’s surfaceness. For while The Secret in Their Eyes all but announces its own importance via philosophical inquiries into such titanic matters as life, love, and, of course, revenge, it remains steadfastly banal in its minutiae, too caught up in tired plot mechanisms, self-impressed technical tricks, and, perhaps its worst crime of all, slimy, retrograde sexual politics. Read all of Michael Koresky's review of The Secret in Their Eyes.