Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou
Director: Michael Haneke
Running Time: 113 mins
Caché is a French film about a married couple who are terrorised after being anonymously sent a series of tapes recording their front door.
While this is another intriguing and atmospheric film from Michael Haneke that will engage you throughout, I felt that it was just lacking in another level of excitement and drama to make it really memorable. It’s a patient and generally well-directed film featuring two strong central performances, but it doesn’t really feature the threat or danger that its story is trying to portray, meaning it’s ultimately not the most exhilarating thriller you’ll ever see.
Let’s start off on the bright side, however, with Haneke’s directing. Again, while this film definitely isn’t a non-stop thrill ride, that’s by no means what Haneke is intending to create here. In typical fashion, Caché is a slow and patient film that features a lot of silence and gradual tension, all used in order to create a deeper sense of unease and drama than just throwing twists and turns at you from the start.
In that, this film does have a distinctinly creepy and eerie vibe, with the incessant harassment that the couple faces from this anonymous source proving particularly unnerving, and the fractures that that begins to cause in their own relationship all the more interesting throughout.
I can’t say that Haneke manages to direct the film to a point where the drama is so engrossing and affecting that you’ll be on the edge of your seat, as I really felt that while there is somewhat of a creepy air around the story, there isn’t the clear threat and danger that the story is really trying to demonstrate, meaning that a degree of the film’s power was lost on me throughout, and I just couldn’t feel as enthralled by the story as I really wanted.
However, the lead performances are another cause for praise, and play a big role in making the film a dramatically engaging watch. Daniel Auteuil is particularly intriguing as the main character, as a typical everyman who, although on most occasions appears a strongly level-headed personality, ends up with a series of unexpected outbursts as the harassment he suffers begins to get to him. Alongside, Juliette Binoche, although not as central a focus as Auteuil, proves engrossing all the same as another source of unpredictability and drama as her reactions to the events occasionally differ from her husband’s, leading to divisions and tensions in their relationship.
All in all, Caché is a film that has strong drama and intrigue throughout, along with strong and patient directing from Michael Haneke that will keep you engaged throuhgout, something that’s furthered by the strong performances from Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. However, as the film just doesn’t have that pulsating and affecting sense of danger and threat, it’s by no means as exciting or deeply engrossing as it clearly aims to be, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.