#REVIEW: “SECRET IN THEIR EYES”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
From writer/director Billy Ray (Flight Plan, Breach, Hunger Games, and Captain Phillips) comes a remake of the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film from 2009, Secret in their Eyes. The Movie switches between present day and early 2000s centering on the hunt to find the man who killed Jess’ (Julia Roberts) daughter. This slowly-paced methodical drama delivers on almost all fronts, but with slight bit more clarity and more utilization of its brilliant cast, Secret in their Eyes could have been an incredible Film instead of just a good Film.
The story focuses on Ray’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) mission to find out who is responsible for Jess’ daughters death. The death is discovered in the early 2000s when Ray, Jess, Claire (Nicole Kidman) and Bumpy (Dean Norris) all work for the same counter terrorist collective. One day in the office they get the report of a homicide and it falls into their jurisdiction because the body was found in a dumpster by one of the mosque’s they were watching for activity. Upon arriving to the scene Ray discovers that it is Jess’ daughter’s body and does whatever it takes to bring the killer to justice. However, there are always complications with this sort of crime as they never could place all the evidence against their prime suspect and thus things became complicated and messy.
The problem with the continuously-shifting timelines within the story are that it is hard to tell when the time line switches. There are a few noticeable things that do occur but without them the audience is lost within the timelines. In present day, each character has a different position as they all left the counter terrorist task force. The only way to tell is by the positions that some of the characters now possess or by paying attention to Chiwetel Ejiofor’s hair as in the present day it is recognizably greying.
The performances in Secret in their Eyes are short of outstanding but they are certainly strong and some actors more than others help carry the Movie. The leading man of Chiwetel Ejiofor is great as he is able to steal every scene and have the audience believe in his determination and perseverance for wanting to find the killer. A performance from Julia Roberts starts on a high note, but her power on-screen wittles down as the story progresses. Nicole Kidman is convincing as Claire in both the past and present, trying to save her own career, doing all she can to help Jess and appease Ray.
Secret in their Eyes has plenty of secrets to be shared and to be kept from other characters throughout. However without seeing the original Film, the twist at the end comes off as something rather unexpected and leaves the audience with a somewhat satisfying conclusion.
eOne Films release SECRET IN THEIR EYES on Friday, November 20, 2015.