Cinema - Hidden/Caché
Caché begins with a long take - a shot of
a flat in suburban Paris. It becomes a very long take. You
start wondering what is going on. There is no reason for the
camera to focus for so long on such a seemingly bland subject.
Then you realise that the picture is taken through a surveillance
camera. That, in effect, you are spying on the house. Afterwards
you meet the couple who live in the house, played by Daniel
Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. They have been sent the tape
anonymously in the post. You put yourself in their position.
It’s a creepy feeling. You learn a bit more about their
lives. He’s the TV host of a literary review; she’s
in publishing. They have a 12-year-old son. They seem to have
a comfortable, enviable life. But the tapes keep coming in,
with childish pictures of bleeding stick men attached. And
their relationship starts to become strained as it becomes
clear that the Auteuil character has been burying a secret
from his past.
Director Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher, Time
of the Wolf) has specialised for years in making cold,
sometimes sadistic movies, but this isn’t one of them.
It is, however, an extremely disturbing film. Make sure, if
you want to understand what happens, that you carefully watch
the last long lingering take. And go with a group of people
- you will be discussing what happened for some time afterwards.