“The Secret in their Eyes” Review

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El Secreto de sus Ojos (2009)

       ‘¿Te das cuenta, Benjamín? El tipo puede cambiar de todo: de cara, de casa, de familia, de novia, de religión, de Dios…pero hay una cosa que no puede cambiar, Benjamín… no puede cambiar…de pasión’. (Pablo Sandoval)

Praised by critics and audiences across the globe, ‘El Secreto de sus Ojos’ is a gripping mystery crime thriller that won an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category in 2010. This Argentina/Spain co-produced film ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great mystery crime thriller, and can even be regarded as coming as close to perfection as any (especially budget) film can get.

The film starts with a retired state court criminal investigator, Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darín), writing his first novel, using the old unsolved Morales case as his starting point. The Morales case, which involved a brutal murder of a young girl in Buenos Aires, has had a deep impact on him years previously. The details of the Morales case, including strong feelings of love and devotion of the murdered girl’s husband, run in parallel to Benjamin’s own unexpressed passion for his beautiful and intelligent co-worker, Irene Hastings (Soledad Villamil). As Benjamin writes, he remembers all the details of how, 25 years ago, equipped with only an old photograph and the loyalty of his imperfect co-worker Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), he started the investigation into a case, which would later turn his whole life around. As Benjamin reflects and reminisces, the clues that he missed 25 years ago start to emerge unexpectedly.

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“Caramel” Review

Caramel (2007)

‘Caramel’ is the first feature film of a Lebanese director Nadine Labaki which follows the lives of five Lebanese women, three of which are working in a beauty salon ‘Si Belle’ in Beirut, Lebanon. Each of the five women has her own problem: Layale (Nadine Labaki) has an affair with a married man; Nisrine, soon to be married to a man from a strict Muslim family, does not know how to tell him he will not be her first; Rima seems to be attracted to women; Jamale, a separated mother of two, fancies herself as a great actress; and, finally, Rosa, an elderly tailoress, experiences insecurities as she falls for a new salon customer. Despite being from different social and religious backgrounds, the women share close friendship, which helps them get through many life difficulties.

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