The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de sus Ojos) (2009)
Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darin) is a retired legal council who is writing a book about a rape/murder case he worked on many years earlier. He is hoping to provide closure to himself due to the unsatisfactory nature of the case in question. However, when he brings the idea of the book up to his old boss and crush, Irene Menendez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), they dig into the past and discover things they never knew before. Along with help from Esposito’s partner Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), the shocking truth about who truly killed Liliana Coloto could possibly be uncovered.
I must confess that I saw the remake of this movie starring Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor before I saw this one, but in my defense, I didn’t know this movie existed prior or else I probably would have. There are 2 main aspects I want to cover regarding the movie and the story as compared to the remake and that is the story itself and the characters. As far as the story goes, there are only minor difference to the flow and plot. Whichever one you see first, you will know the story pretty well. The aspect of Esposito writing a novel is only included in this original version and the there are some scenes different towards the end that have the same purpose. I guess the big difference to the story is that in the original movie it is about the rape and murder of a wife and how the grieving husband wants to find the killer, but in the remake, Julia Roberts takes on the role of a grieving mother who loses her teenage daughter. Not that big a deal so the story is pretty spot on.
The real changes come from the characters and development of them. In this version, the characters are given elaborate diversity and the love story between Esposito and Hastings goes much deeper. I think the interactions and the relationships makes this version much better than the remake as the characters in the remake seem stale. We really feel the connection between all the characters and the friendships they have and that makes the story that more richer. Movies that add depth like this are always extra interesting.
As a movie goes, The Secrets in Their Eyes is a pretty good one. I was still annoyed with the back and forth from present day to the past, but these actors were able to pull off the time different much better than their American counterparts. The acting is well done and the story itself is gripping and interesting. Don’t expect a true “murder mystery” here because that isn’t the point of the investigation. At the end of the day, this version was much better than the remake and if you are ok with subtitles, watch this one!
7/10 Stars – The intriguing story combined with intricate characters makes this movie deep and gripping. Much better than the 2015 remake.