Retired investigator Benjamín Esposito (the terrific Ricardo Darín) starts writing a book about the most memorable unsolved crime of his career—the rape and murder of Liliana Coloto. This project also gives divorced Esposito a chance to reconnect with his former colleague and department lead Irene Menéndez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), a woman he’s been in love with for years.
Told in flashbacks alternating with present, the film does well aging the characters so you aren’t distracted when switching from past to present. As Benjamín revisits the case facts and re-interviews those closest to the victim, he hits upon new leads that will bring him back to that troubled time. We also learn about his life and struggles and also the tragedies he experienced during the original Coloto investigation.
El Secreto hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let you go until the end. Benjamín smolders on-screen and the chemistry between him and Irene is palpable. My only issue is that I thought the makeup on the aged Ricardo Morales, Liliana’s widow, wasn’t as good as that of the others. The ending is mostly surprising.
Adapted from the novel “La pregunta de sus ojos,” by Eduardo Sacheri, El secreto de sus ojos won the 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Co-writer/Director: Juan José Campanella
Run time: 129 minutes