19.10.10

Cache (Watch this ASAP!)

Cache
Directed by Michael Haneke

Written by Michael Haneke

Starring: Juliette Binoche
      Daniel Auteuil
      Maurice Benichou
      Walid Afkir
      Lester Makedonsky
      Daniel Duval
      Nathalie Richard

***** (5 out of 5 stars)

Wow.  Possibly the only thing that I can say about this film.  Cache shows us the life of a family flipped upside down by the appearance of videotapes and drawings at their front door; the videos are of their home, appearing as if they are being watched.  Slowly we watch how these tapes terrorize the family.  After awhile, we figure out that it has mostly to do with the father of the family, played by Daniel Auteuil.  In the end, I'm not sure if we're supposed to know what's happened or if we sort of just make up the rest ourselves but by the finish of the film I was left with my jaw hanging.  In particular one scene had me floored- I even rewound the part several times before continuing, it contained more shock value than Lars Von Trier's Antichrist just because of how unexpected it was in this movie.  For a few minutes after it was all over, I sat and wondered if I was satisfied with the ending and to tell you the truth, I'm not really.  Yet at the same time I consider this to be one of the finer thrillers I've seen in recent years.  The reason being is because I feel as though it's like they built the story up, all about the tension and the unknown, and instead of giving us that sweet payoff we're hoping for the filmmaker gives us a very open ended finish.  We are left to wonder many things.

The script was great.  Lots of unexpectedness in this film which is something that we don't see much of in American Hollywood movies.  The manner in which the story unfolds is classic suspense and mystery, something to keep us waiting for the next big thing, keeping us on our toes.  A lot of things are left unexplained, or maybe they were and it all passed me by but it adds to the mystery.  This, to me, seems like a sign of intelligent filmmaking: trusting the viewer.  The filmmakers seemingly trust us enough to think, "Why show it when we can just allude to it?"; instead of assuming your audience is too dumb to follow along on their own, we are granted the permission to fill in the blanks.  This is what keeps this movie rated as high as it does, alongside the other great qualities, is that the audience is respected and we're not spoon fed all the information.  Albeit, confusing at times but still very innovative.

Juliette Binoche was wonderful.  On one hand, you want to be mad at her because she is a little annoying and hard on her husband (who is clearly having a rough go of it) but on the other side you can totally understand her behaviour as a mother, and a loving wife.  She is always classic and in this thriller of a film she is fairly subdued but still highly intriguing.  Daniel Auteuil plays the man in the middle of it all with grace.  We watch him go from anger to confusion to tears and back again, all due to the past.  This movie is all about what catches up to you, it seems like everybody in the film has something running after them, and how everybody deals with; unfortunately, in this case, everything doesn't turn out as good as it could have for those running from something.  The part of Majid, Maurice Benichou, is played wonderfully as well, a very haunting performance at the center of the story.  The acting on all parts is near perfect, I was lost in the performances of the whole family in the story which made the plot move along much smoother than a lot of thrillers.

This movie is a full 5 stars because it has a great story, wonderful direction and expertly played characters by some wonderful actors and actresses.  I would highly recommend this to anybody who loves a great mystery or thriller; this is a cut above, and it also leaves you with a strange feeling in the end.  I still am not sure what the last scene really means.  On one hand, you could think the worst, and on the other hand you could think a number of different scenarios up in your head.  I enjoy an open ended conclusion because if it's carried out appropriately it can leave a movie with you for weeks, even longer.  Cache has stayed with me months later and I still can picture it all in my mind.

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