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Daniel Auteil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou
Written and directed by Michael Hanake
French with English subtitles
Sony Pictures Home Video 2006
Cache / Hidden is the best mystery movie I have seen in three or four years. Even if you do not get the political and historical metaphor writer and director Michael Haneke (The Piano Player) is using, this thriller will definitely keep you interested and guessing for the close to two hours this movie lasts. Cache / Hidden is an old school mystery heavy on characters with absolutely no special effects or chase scenes and the kind of thriller you will watch again from time to time just to see if you missed anything. A lot of the people who saw this movie in the theater will definitely want to buy it to watch it again for the details they might have missed
Cache / Hidden stars Daniel Auteil as Georges Laurent, a television personality who host a talk show about books -those are real, real big in France. Juliette Binoche is his wife Anne. One morning she receives a tape with about two hours of footage of their front door. The mystery deepens when a second tape is accompanied by a children's drawing which seems to depict some blood. The Laurents do not know who is sending the tapes and why and the tapes themselves are harmless. One of the tapes leads Georges to the apartment of someone he knew when he was a kid. This thriller gets even more interesting and captivating after that. Fair warning: There are a couple of very short, violent scenes in Cache / Hidden that will shock you.
Part of what makes this mystery a great movie is the viewer is not always certain if he or she is watching one of the tapes -the movie begins that way-or if he is watching the movie itself. Haneke's camera is often placed and the movie is often shot pretty much like the images on the tapes the couple receives.
In many ways, although no one seems absolutely certain what Cache / Hidden by Michael Hanake is about, is about how past events can come and haunt your daily life. How none of us is without guilt of some kind. Others contend this mystery is about the ghosts of history and an allegory of the relationship between France and its former colony, Algeria, and how Algerians are treated in France.
The extra feature on this DVD is a twenty-five minute interview, in French with English subtitles, with Michael Haneke. This is highly interesting but those who are expecting Haneke to let the cat out of the bag will sorely be disappointed. He seems, instead, to enjoy perpetuating the mystery and possible interpretations one can give to Cache / Hidden.
Perhaps the greatest clue to understanding this thriller is something Majid says, "What wouldn't we do not to lose what's ours?" Pay close attention to the last scene in Cache / Hidden, it may or may not, depending on your interpretation, reveal something.