Cache – movie review by Gregory Farrell

Cache is a superb French mystery movie which came out in 2006.  It is in French with English subtitles. The movie is about a Parisian family whose very comfortable life is suddenly disturbed by the arrival of a video tape. (Yes, this was just before the days of DVDs).

Someone has filmed the outside of their apartment for an extended period of time and then sent the tape to the Laurent family. Nothing unusual happens on the tape and there is no note left with it. Still, the Laurents feel vaguely threatened knowing someone is watching them.

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Over the following days, tapes continue to arrive, and even more concerning are a series of pictures, The pictures are a child’s crayon drawings. The drawings are of a little boy with his neck slashed and blood coming out of his mouth.

The Laurent family goes to the police, but are told that there is nothing which can be done, since no violence has actually happened and there are no clues as to where the tapes are coming from.

In fact, there are clues on the tape, and the father George Laurent (played by Daniel Auteuil) knows what they mean. However,  the clues revolve around an incident in his childhood, which he hides from the police and even his wife. George decides to track down the sender of the tapes on his own, and put an end to the harassment.

We will not say too much more about the plot since we do not want to give away the mystery. It is a fascinating film, that shows some of undercurrents of French society of which most Americans are not aware.

There is a factor of racism surrounding the French Algerians who moved to Paris after the Algerian War of Independence ended in 1962.  These people are technically French citizens, but are not realty accepted as such. They are outsiders, instantly noticeable by their darker skin.

George and Anne Laurent are  part of the well-to- do intellectual elite of Paris, and have no connections with the lower class Algerians.  At least that’s what it originally appears.

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Anne Laurent is excellently played by Juliette Binoche,  who American audiences will recognize from the popular film Chocolate. Her worries about the tapes soon turn to anger as she begins to realize that her husband is hiding something from her. As an independent French woman she has no intention of just meekly following his instructions to stay out of things.

When you see this film, be sure to watch the ending credits very closely. There is some final action going on in the background which would be easy to miss  if you are not looking for it.

We hope that someone eventually does a re-make of this film based in America.  A  mystery movie with an underlying racial theme of subtle threats and violence would transition perfectly to the U.S.

We give this movie Five Stars *****

 

 

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