Caché (France/Austria/Germany/Italy; 117 min.)


directed by:Michael Haneke
cast: Daniel Auteuil; Juliette Binoche; Maurice Bénichou
Caché
 
Michael says: "Michael Haneke brings to Toronto a most disturbing and challenging film with CACHÉ. This is the type of film that leaves you scratching your head, a pondering what it was you just saw. This is the type of film that finds you examining each scene with your friends as you try to piece the story together. This is the type of film that you need to see again. CACHÉ (which translates to HIDDEN) is most aptly titled. Haneke is most concerned with what is not shown in the film. It’s a completely alien way to watching a film, where the viewer usually pays attention to that which is shown. Haneke turns this convention inside out as we find ourselves pondering the things that we do not see.

Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche play a upper-middle class suburban couple whose domestic life is blindsided through a series of unsettling packages that arrive in the mail. The first is a surveillance video of the front door of their home. Someone is watching them. As the deliveries increase in number, so does their (and our) anxiety. The film goes on to explore racism in France, the fragile nature of middle class domesticity, and secrets from the past. Auteuil and Binoche expertly navigate the sketchy terrain to convey these feelings of anxiety and dread. Haneke leaves us with a puzzling sense of frustration, knowing the answers are there, just beyond our reach. It’s a bold and accomplished statement from this talented director. 4 ½ cats."
 
Bruce says: "When a man harbors a burden of guilt while remaining in perpetual denial, conflict is bound to surface after a matter of time. Such a man is Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil), a well known TV talk show host and literary personality. In CACHÉ the origin of the conflict surprisingly does not come from within the man; it is external. Happily married and fully engaged in their business and personal lives, Georges and his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche) suddenly receive an anonymous surveillance video of the front of their house. Someone is watching them.

"The second video arrives with a childlike drawing of a boy with blood streaking from his mouth. A series of similar drawings appear. One is sent to Georges and Anne’s son Pierre at his school; another is sent to Georges’ supervisor at the TV studio. A video of Georges’ childhood home arrives. Whoever is behind this must know Georges and Anne well. Without spoiling the mood and impact of the film, what follows is an examination of Georges’ childhood relationship with a boy who was the son of an Arab employee - his boyhood deceits and their consequences. Thus CACHÉ contextualizes racism in France which, more often than not, is unknowledged or ignored.

"As with Michael Haneke’s earlier films, THE PIANO TEACHER and TIME OF THE WOLF, the viewer’s anxiety increases with the anxiety of the main characters regardless whether the source of that anxiety is imagined or caused by real events. Here Haneke sends out a creepy Hitchcockian message, 'watch out, this could happen to you.' The use of video technology adds to the paranoia.

"Daniel Auteuil, one of my favorite actors, becomes aged and weary as events unfold; Juliette Binoche captures the personal horror of a woman who comes to doubt her husband and her marriage. In a particularly wonderful scene she is forced to assuage her child’s fears as he accuses her, sensing that something is wrong but guessing incorrectly as to the nature of his mother’s increasingly strange behavior.

"Although many moments in CACHÉ reminded me of various Chabrol films, Haneke tends to focus less on the narrative line and spend more time exploring the inner lives of his characters. the result of his efforts places CACHÉ a league apart from the best of Chabrol. The camerawork is slow and deliberating; often the viewer cannot tell whether it is the film or the video that is on screen. To Haneke’s credit he does not attempt to tie up many of the loose ends. That may frustrate some viewers. For me it seems truer to life than having every question answered. 5 cats"