Quest Status: 724 / 1000
TSPDT Rank #214
On the surface, Michael Haneke's Caché is a mystery film, a psychological thriller about surveillance - the feeling of being watched by an unknown entity that can see your every move. However, its central mystery is never solved, with Haneke pulling back layer after layer and making the mystery progressively more complicated and disturbing - ultimately refusing to satisfy viewer expectations like most other mystery films. The result is a master class in creating and sustaining tension. The creepy atmosphere that Haneke creates never lets up; there's always a sinking feeling that the unknown stalker is hiding just around the corner, just waiting to be revealed. There's plenty of tension in earlier Haneke films like Funny Games and The Piano Teacher, but also a breaking point where that tension explodes into violence. In Caché, by contrast, little violence is shown on screen. And even when it is, it only results in the creation of further tension and uncertainties.
What is certain is this: Georges (Daniel Auteuil) and his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche) are being harassed by a stalker who sends high-quality videos of their apartment shot from the outside, filmed by someone close by but never seen. The videos are also accompanied by bloody drawings that seem to recall an incident from Georges' childhood which is never revealed fully. In any case, the incident involved a young boy, Majid, the son of Algerian immigrants killed in a 1961 massacre in Paris. Georges' parents had intended to adopt Majid after the death of his parents, but six-year-old Georges used lies and intimidation to have Majid sent to an orphanage away from their family. As an adult, Georges still can't face up to this incident from his childhood. He can't even tell his wife about it. Nevertheless, he is forced to reckon with the past when he suspects Majid of sending the tapes.