Fearful Symmetry

Film. Books. Comics. TV. Music.

Hidden

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Spy cam

Spy cam

Hidden is a mystifying film that does not leave you disappointed, largely because, although it is very open in terms of plot resolution, it is a satisfyingly closed journey emotionally. Seeing this film came to me on the back of many positive reviews and a great deal of word of mouth encouragement and I can only add to that.

Daniel Auteuil plays a bourgeois intellectual with a wife (brilliantly performed by Juliette Binoche) and young son whose current satisfied life is disrupted by the arrival of a number of videos showing his apartment – it’s obvious he’s being spied on. Then the videos start arriving wrapped in disturbingly violent, childish drawings. As Auteuil tries to find out who is spying on him, the slow evolution of the plot opens up cracks in the family (Is Binoche having an affair? What’s going on with the kid?) and winds up the tension until you are not sure what’s going to happen, but whatever it is you know it’s not going to be good. This all ends up relating back both to Auteuil’s childhood plus to events in recent French history that still have relevance today. There are a few odd moments – a bit of symbolism is very heavy-handedly done – but overall it’s one of the better films of recent years.

I’ve seen the director’s Piano Teacher and found it more than a bit too cold but this is in another league. Though I don’t think I’m quite brave enough to see Funny Games yet.

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Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

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