Caché - 7
A normal couple watches bewildered to the contents of a VHS cassete tape left at their house, it's origin is a mystery.
The video consists on a simple recording of the exterior of their house from a fixed point in frontal position with unclear exact location, in the video the wife and the husband of the couple can be seen leaving the house to go on their usual duties...
Anonymous phone calls, small postcards with suggestive messages and several other VHS tapes follow and soon it's clear that the couple is under the unwelcome vigilance of a stranger who knows the man of the couple... or so it seems...
As the stalking manifestations continue and efforts are made to find out who is behind them, the dark past of the man of the couple is unveiled little by little.
The argument suggests a thriller but the ascetic cinematics can either improve, worsen or confuse the experience of the beholder.
The movie eventually takes the mold of a psychological study of a man tormented by guilt.
This work by Michael Haneke develops in a realistic, sober, cold, raw and analytical style, not given to sentimentality or artificiality of expression and has no soundtrack.
I felt that the austerity of the cinematic style also translated into the acting of the main characters, which hampered their authenticity and the impact this film could have.
It also didn't get quite clear in my mind what was the real premisse behind this movie: was it to do a psychological essay about a character suffering with guilt? was it to do a thriller exploring an ascetic aesthetic and see how it works out? was the premisse to do a phylosophical essay about observation and guilt? was it all of these things?
And the fact that the origin of the stalking is never unveiled gives this movie a surreal aura and makes it inconclusive on various thematic aspects.
I think this was a particularly interesting cinematic and aesthetic experiment in the thriller genre, I found it to be a fascinating concept and wished that the result could be fully accomplished, but it didn't seem quite there yet.
It's hard for me to rate this work, I think it's a very interesting movie, it has no major technical flaws (assuming that the unsolved mistery of the origin of the stalking is intentional) and it has some trully brilliant moments to behold, but it's premisse is not very clear and several things are just left in blank, seemed inconclusive to me.
I'm left with the impression of an experimental asceticism and an inconclusive plot from which only Hitchcock could forge a masterpiece, but I still think it is worth to be seen.
This is one of the most interesting auteur films I've seen in the last years from contemporary european cinema.
As usual with auteur cinema this movie is not particularly generous with it intelligibility and requires some commitment from the viewer.
To me it was an unique experience and left lots of things open to interpretation and debate.
The main character guilt was one of the few certainties I came out with.
Edited by kkl10 - 1/12/14 at 8:44am