The Secret in Their Eyes catches up with Buenos Aires police detective Benjamin Esposito as he is a bit into his retirement. He’s writing a novel based around one of his more memorable, and unsolved, murder cases, from 25 years ago. He starts by looking up Judge Irene Menéndez-Hastings, who was a clerk on the case and was mad for Benjamin at the time. His showing up and poking around into this closed case opens up more than a can or two of worms. The film goes back and forth between the then and now in an attempt to fill out the cracks in the stories of the victim, the perpetrators and those involved in the investigation. Will they find the killer? Will Judge Menéndez-Hastings and Benjamin ever unite?
This film won the best foreign language Oscar, has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won a Goya. I say that to fully admit that I’m going to be in the minority in not digging on this flick. So, note that this is how it struck me, but keep in mind that most of the world loved this movie. To me, it was just too melodramatic. There were holes in the character development that the filmmaker clearly thought would go unnoticed because of a hope that people would just get swept up in the emotion of it all. It’s a love story and a crime drama done in a very, very Spanish fashion. If your heart goes all aflutter for the passion of a good Spanish melodrama, then this movie is squarely in your wheelhouse. However, if, like me, you’re a more practical bloke, then this movie is bound to do little more than serve as cause for a good eye rolling. There are undeniable holes to the story that require a bit too much stretching for me. But if you’re the type who can get lost in a good romantic crime story, knock your socks off.