Film, Movie Reviews

Secret in their Eyes (2016)

Film Review

A seemingly ordinary murder case proves to be a life-shattering cause for years of hardship and departure for a team of FBI investigators and their adjoining officers. After the brutal death of her daughter, Jess Cobb’s life is broken, but her determined associate Ray Kasten is persistent to catch the culprit and avenge her loss. 13 years later and the alliance re-assmebles, intent on re-opening the case and finally getting to the bottom of the supposed futile investigation.

An unexpected, highly compelling story, switching between the events that took place immediately following the discovery of the victim’s body during 2002 as well as the present day examinations in 2015. The audience is shown the effects of the terrible incident through the eyes of investigators who, due to personal ties, act in desire for justice as well as moral resolution. The mixture of past and present may fuse at times, causing some confusion as to what clues were uncovered during which time. There are no obvious indicators in terms of filmic production, yet there are constantly some subtle hints to denote the distinctions, such as differences in hair styles and the faint ageing that are cleverly shown yet can be too easily overlooked at times.

Sharp Whit

A committed scrutiniser from start to finish, Ray Kasten refuses to let go of, what he believes to be an important and unresolved case. Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s portrayal is a raw and captivating display of vigilance for an old friend, proving to be a worthy protagonist. This is even despite the evidently embarrassing efforts of pursuing his observably attached, co-worker Claire Sloan, which ultimately leads down a unfulfilled settlement, with no real conclusion.

In terms of supporting characters, another stand out persona with mysterious hidden agendas is Jess Cobb. Initially a straight-talking, lively personality, the audience then begins to witness the sudden decline that is presented through Jess’ actions as well as physical appearances.  Julia Roberts exhibits an impressive display of fragile mentality, coupled with the apparent physical weakening, essentially showing the pure dedication she bears for her lost daughter.

SECRET IN THEIR EYES
source: STX Entertainment

I personally, was unaware of the film being a remake when initially viewing. Although, overall still a solid and satisfying action thriller, able to capture attention and keep the audience guessing. Unpredicted twists are present and thrown into the narrative, resulting in fresh ideals and theories for the ongoing case. Perhaps not a totally outstanding plot, yet developed into a noteworthy depiction of FBI involvement with rape and murder cases, coupled with the right amount of mystery and secret developments. An unexpected gem.


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