Monday, October 02, 2006

Cache ("Hidden")

(2005, French) **

Georges, Ann and their sullen 12-year old son are a successful middle-class family. Dual incomes and good moral values provide them with a pretty good living, which appears to involve a lot pretentious literary discussions with similar successful friends. We know that they’re all smart because they dissect prose while sipping seemingly endless glasses of wine. The film begins with a long (way too long, sleep-inducing long) static shot of their apartment building. Eventually the camera pulls back and we realize that Georges and Ann are watching this video of their apartment on TV. It seems that someone has been harassing them by mailing them videotapes of these static shots of their home. The main point seems to be that they are under surveillance by an unknown assailant. Some of the videotapes are accompanied by crude, bloody stick-figure drawings. As the film unfolds the videos move from static shots of their apartment to other areas of town, including Georges's childhood home where an incident from childhood might have set the stage for this “harassment”.

Who is behind this campaign of psychological harassment and why? Damned if I know, and this is the problem with Cache. No harm ever comes to Georges, Ann or their son. In fact, save one unexpected moment of self-violence, not a whole lot happens here and nothing is ever explained. There is no mystery or crime. The final 3 minutes of the film consist of another static shot. After reading a number of reviews I’ve come to understand that the key to the whole film lies in this shot, although not necessarily. Nothing is ever explained or resolved.

For a long time now I’ve heard about this little French “thriller” and I was excited to kick off Horrorthon 2006 with something different. I didn’t realize that I would be watching a 90-minute sleeping pill. This was tough to get through at 12:01am and halfway though I was kicking myself, partly to stay awake, but mostly because I was so annoyed with myself for making this my first choice of the season. Sadly, my great judgment in movie choices didn’t end here.

1 comment:

Octopunk said...

How annoying to get videotapes containing static shots of your house. If any of my stalkers are getting ideas, please just send postcards. If you do decide to go with creepy videotapes, you should know I'll be reviewing them here.

"I know the shot of the kitchen knife held over my throat while I slept was supposed to invoke a reaction, but the clumsy set-up of the shot completely blew the mood."