An upper-middle class Parisian family starts receiving anonymous video tapes of their house. There’s no commentary, no threats, but the message is clear: You’re being watched. Slowly, dark revelations come to light…
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Re-view after so many years. We could talk of bourgeois guilt/ political accountability, or of the claustrophobic books on the shelves that aren't being read vs. the television/ screen that is controlling their/ our lives, or how the infamous last scene is like Géricault's Raft of the Medusa in motion, but it's all likely been said and, so, I'll go lightly fart between the sheets and dream of chicken decapitation.
"It's not paranoia if they are really out to get you." A psychological tour-de-force of a film. Entertaining? Hell no. It's very mundanity bruises the screen with an implicit counter-punch. Forget 'Funny Games' and 'The White Ribbon', this and 'The Piano Teacher' remain Haneke's most subversive offerings.
Haneke shows his directing skills in this family thriller: it's impossible not to be mesmerized by his suffocating images of superposed urban landscapes: it's contemporary security phobia taken to a disturbing level. In Cache, it's not your present that directs your tides, but the action from a distant and forgotten past: and this is a more urgent kind of horror.
Haneke's exploration of memories and guilt proves to be an incredible exercise in filmmaking. His austere style augments the realism of his cinema, and forces the viewer to observe the characters and story (something which diagetically is making them uncomfortable to begin with), and all the while he does not offer any answers, merely the pieces to the puzzle. An intelligent, creative film.
While there are in fact some very tense moments here and there, the overall experience falls a little flat. I get that the point was not to know who really sent the tapes, but rather the effect they had upon this family. But still... I didn't find the story or the characters all that compelling.
"If you think it's Majid, Pierrot, Georges, the malevolent director, God himself, the human conscience - all these answers are correct. But if you come out wanting to know who sent the tapes, you didn't understand the film. To ask this question is to avoid asking the real question the film raises, which is more: how do we treat our conscience and our guilt and reconcile ourselves to living with our actions." [Haneke]
Those moments when you weren't sure if you are watching a tape or just looking at the house were perfect. I was constantly frustrated, by the lack of information in the dialogue, the characters...almost everything. But that's why I love Haneke, because he makes me crazy and hungry for answers answers answers until I feel as if my brain will explode from analyzing his films. Also: what a brilliant ending!
An absolutely amazing film. In *Cache* Michael Haneke forces viewers to directly confront their fears and anxieties and he offers up no easy answers to the films many intricate puzzles. I love his use of geometric compositions and reflective surfaces which really help in establishing atmosphere. All of the performances are out of this world stellar, especially Daniel Auteuil as Georges. *Cache* is a film for our era.