The subtlety of Michael Haneke’s Caché is profound. With some surveillance footage that barely moves, and little music to accompany the intrigue, Caché requires extreme patience and attention. Each scene hides details that most certainly would be missed if you do not watch closely enough. For example, in this shot, you can see the silhouette of a camera on the left wall, which is visible for less than a half a second. Haneke has provided the audience the key to the entire film, but has neglected to reveal the door this key opens. Perhaps he’s trying to help us discover the culprit who has been terrorizing his characters with surveillance footage of their own home.
Can you discover the culprit? Is it the bicyclist who is yet to be seen again? Is the son of Majid lying? Is Majid lying? Are the sons in cahoots with one another (as the equally subtle final shot of the film seems to imply)? How did the son suspect his mother of having an affair, when the audience barely does? Is this shot just a slip of a careless director or an ingenious clue? Unlike many other films, watching Caché numerous times is both encouraged and expected to help understand it. Like Rear Window or Black Swan, the viewer is immersed in the character’s paranoia, but perhaps to learn the truth, we must free them from it.
By Guy Stridsigne 8/19/2011