Here’s a film that couldn’t be more different from the teen comedies that I’ve enjoyed watching all week. I’ve been hard at work catching up on all the movies I missed to prepare for Wandering Through the Shelves’ Thursday challenge but I took a break from all the dick jokes to rewatch one of my favourite movies from 2005 (one of my favourite years). Last week’s challenge got me thinking about The Piano Teacher and the films of German filmmaker Michael Haneke.
While I admire the technique and honesty of The Piano Teacher and Haneke’s more recent and Oscar-winning Amour, watching them can feel like chores due to the former’s unpleasantness and the latter’s sleepy pacing. Here, though, is a movie that I can honestly say that I enjoy watching. Even though he’s asking tough questions about class, reality, and deception, he is generous enough to structure Caché like a thriller. It begins with Georges and Anne (Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche) watching and discussing a videotape that was inexplicably left at their front door. The video is simply a two-hour wide shot of their beautiful Paris home. It might just be a prank by one of their teenage son’s friends but, still, it’s pretty creepy. Somebody seems to be trying to show them that they’re under surveillance. Well, the tapes keep coming and the footage starts hitting closer and closer to home and it starts wreaking havoc on Georges and Anne’s seemingly happy home.
One of the things that make Haneke’s films so unsettling is he’s not fond of easy answers and there’s always a lot I still want to know when they’re over. The mystery of who’s sending these tapes and why kept me riveted from start to finish but is never fully explained. As I always do when I’m afraid I might be missing something, I ran to the DVD bonus features looking for answers and it turns out the director is as vague in interviews as he is in his writing. He said that he likes to leave things open to interpretation because reality is.
Fair enough. When I invest so much time in a whodunnit, I like to know who dun it but Caché still gives us a lot to be thankful for. Haneke’s examination of a marriage full of secrets is made even more compelling by the performances from the two leads and, unlike most Marvel movies, viewers who stay through the credits will be rewarded.