The Secret in Their Eyes Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Court clerk Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darin) retired and decided to write a book about an old investigation that meant a lot to him. Twenty-five years ago, on June 21, 1974, Benjamin began to investigate the case of a young woman, Liliana Coloto de Morales (Carla Quevedo), who was brutally raped and murdered in her home in Buenos Aires.

Esposito was shocked by this murder, and he promised the husband of the murdered woman, a modest bank employee Ricardo Morales (Pablo Rago), to find the criminal who did it. Benjamin is investigating with his friend and subordinate forensic investigator Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Franceglia). The new boss of Esposito and Sandoval, Irene Menendez Haistingas (Soledad Villamil), oversees the investigation.

And in this case all sorts of oddities immediately appear. They hastened to blame the murder on two workers who were beaten so that they would confess to the crime. Benjamin immediately discovers this and contributes to the release of the innocent, but he does not yet have any leads that can lead him to the criminal.

But after a while, he still attacks the trail, looking through old photographs belonging to Liliana.


I was told about this film in the comments to the review of the 2019 Argentine film “Heroic Losers”, where Ricardo Darin played the main role. I read what kind of film it was, it turned out that the picture was generally sensational and iconic, having a bunch of awards and nominations: the 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, two Spanish Goya awards and seven nominations, nominations for San Sebastian”, for the European Academy Prize, for the “Cesar” and nominations for the British Academy Prize.

The film was very popular in Argentina, in the rest of Latin America and Spain, collected an excellent box office at the box office, showing a fantastic TCC of 17 units. Starring Ricardo Darin and Soledad Villamil. Well, I think we should look.

Looked up in Spanish. (Very convenient: even if you don’t like the film, it’s still useful.) The picture is based on the novel by the writer Eduardo Sacheri “The Question in Their Eyes” and is built in a rather peculiar way. There are two different storylines here. One line is the investigation itself, and after the discovery of the killer, there is still a lot going on, and this is all inextricably linked with the events of the Dirty War: the Argentines remember these events very well and for them there is a lot of personal in this film.

The second line is an epic, twenty-five-year-long, romantic story of the mutual passion of Benhamin and his boss, Irene, and it turned out that they did not open up to each other for such a long time.

The detective story is long, rather unhurried, but fascinating, especially since various political events in Argentina are woven into it. The final twist, in my opinion, was easily miscalculated, especially since there were hints of such a development of events at the beginning of the film, however, many reviewers and viewers write about the “smashing finale”, which means that they did not guess.

However, when compared with other detective films, the “Counter Investigation” with Jean Dujardin had an uncommonly more unexpected and very powerful ending, while “Tell No One” with Francois Cluzet had the entire detective component more than exciting.

But here, nevertheless, the fact that two different lines were going in parallel, as if the creators of the picture had not decided what they were shooting after all: a detective drama or a melodrama, was somewhat disturbing. But this bothered me, but the audience and all film academics, on the contrary, really liked that they got two stories for the price of one.

I also didn’t really like the fact that in this la historia de un amor, in my opinion, they went a little too far with romanticism, and besides, allusions with the history of Noodles were somehow very clearly visible here (he, in fact, is Baska, but I give him a nickname in the traditional translation) and Deborah from “Once Upon a Time in America”, especially in the scene of the hero’s departure on the train, and there is also the musical accompaniment of this line, written by composers Federico Husid and Emilio Kauderer, very clearly inspired by Ennio Moricone’s music for ” Once upon time in America”.

Ricardo Darin in the role of Benjamin Esposito – well, somehow a four with a minus, I did not experience any enthusiasm. No, it was played decently, but that’s all: I would prefer to see a more charismatic and bright actor in this role. By the way, Ricardo Darin played in four films directed by Juan José Campanella.

But Soledad Villamil, who played Irene Menendez Haistingas, was extremely liked: a very good actress, a curious image. And how many interesting semitones are in her heroine – Darin really lacked this.

If we talk about male roles, then in comparison with Darin, Guillermo Francella, who played the sad alcoholic Pablo Sandoval, looked noticeably more spectacular. By the way, interestingly, Francella in Argentina is a famous comedian. An important component of his image is the mustache, which he wore for twenty years. And so that the audience would not be distracted by this image, the director forced Guillermo to shave off this mustache, which the actor was terribly dissatisfied with.

Here is such a film. In general, I liked it, I did not regret at all that I looked at it, and I think that it will be of interest to many readers of the site who once missed it, like me, however, I repeat, I am not enthusiastic.

PS I listened to the United Statesn translation. This is a polyphonic professional voiceover. The translation seems to be of sufficient quality, only idioms do not always translate accurately, and also soften all sorts of energetic expressions (the most common colloquial, nothing special). The voice acting is very carefully superimposed on the original voices of the actors: you can hear the original voices and intonations well, which is important, and the translation at a comfortable volume.


Secret in his eyes movie meaning / El secreto de sus ojos

Director: Juan José Campanella Cast: Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil, Guillermo Francella, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Carla Quevedo, Barbara Palladino, Rudy Romano, Alejandra Abelenda, Mario Alarcon

Budget: $2M, Worldwide Grossing: $34M
Drama, Argentina-Spain, 2009, 129 min.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top