I re-watched Michael Haneke’s brilliant French film “Cache/Hidden” a while back, and wanted to resurrect this thread to discuss the film. Note that as the thread’s title states, there are huge SPOILERS below, to those who haven’t seen this yet. Here are my thoughts/questions:
First of all, brilliant movie - IMHO it’s Haneke’s best film. I remember seeing this in the theater back in 2005 & thinking it was fantastic then. However, after re-watching this several more times I noticed more details & appreciate the film much more than on my initial viewing.
The movie is a poignant & fascinating exploration of living with guilt, morality, history, and national identity. Prior to seeing the film, I had never heard of the terrible event that occurred in October 1961, in Paris - quite tragic & horrific.
So, I guess the ultimate question on everyone’s mind @ the end of the film is - who sent the tapes & disturbing drawings to Georges Laurent & his family?!
-Well, I can say unquestionably that Majid (the one that Georges first suspected as having sent them) did not send them or the pictures to Georges. He was obviously genuinely surprised to see Georges at his door, and the entire situation (being thought of as a suspect, etc.) was too much for him - which is why he ended up killing himself in front of Georges. He was obviously upset at having to dredge up a past, to the point that he couldn’t handle it anymore.
So, that leaves a couple of possibilities:
-The very last scene of the film shows a panoramic scene of the outside of the school that Pierrot attends…we see Pierrot & M.'s son having a brief, intense conversation (that we don’t hear). So, did Majid’s son set up sending the tapes/pictures up with Pierrot, in order to get back at Georges? However, this opens up the door to even more questions, i.e.:
Majid.'s son apparently knew about the whole situation with Georges lying about M. when they were both kids, which resulted in M. being taken away from the house & going to the orphanage (due to Georges being jealous). However, even if M.'s son wanted to get revenge at Georges because of the way his father had been treated years before, why would M.'s son send the tapes to Georges (including the tape showing the location of M.'s apartment) if he knew Georges would confront M., and dredge up a past that M. wanted to forget? He should have known that M. would react badly - and, as it turned out, he ending up killing himself over this. M.'s son appeared to love his father, so I don’t see him doing this…unless he really wanted to get revenge on Georges, and wasn’t thinking it through - i.e., wasn’t realizing how much this would negatively affect his father.
Why would Pierrot be upset at his father enough to do something like this to him?! Sure, Pierrot was obviously angry at his mother because he suspects - probably correctly - that she was having an affair with their friend Pierre. But, I don’t sense that Pierrot has any great hatred for his father specifically. That being said, Pierrot knew that the tapes/pictures would cause problems with both of his parents, including his mother - so, he may not have cared how this affected his father.
And, how did Pierrot even meet up with M.'s son?! They obviously don’t go together to the same school (M.'s son is at least high school age, or older).
-Other than M.'s son & Pierrot setting this up, the only other slight possibility I can think of is that Georges’s mother sent him the tapes & pictures - since she’s the only other person who would even remember the situation/incident(s) with M. from years before. However, I seriously doubt this - she’s bedridden & infirm (as seen in the one scene when Georges goes to visit her) and it’s unlikely that she would have the means, inclination, or motive to set up something like this. And, I doubt she would do something like this to upset her son.
-The least likely possibility is that Georges has another enemy that is doing this to mess with his mind. However, unlikely that it’s a person we don’t see in the film because it would have to be someone that knew about the situation from his childhood - and, the only people who would know would be M., M.‘s son, and Georges’ mother.
What makes this even more mysterious is that it appears that even after M.'s tragic death & his son’s confrontation with Georges Laurent (at Laurent’s work) the house still has surveillance - as seen in that scene towards the end of the film. So, who is still conducting the surveillance?! Is it still M.'s son & Pierrot (if they were ever even doing this from the beginning)?! Or, is it someone else?!