The French-language film Caché

I just watched Caché, and I am really annoyed. Apparently quite a few people liked Caché (its IMDb rating is a respectable 7.3). As for me, I want those two hours of my life back so that I can reallocate them toward something that will edify or entertain in some fashion. This movie seemed to me like an extended shaggy dog joke, but without a punchline. Or a long, clumsy, inept foreplay session during which my partner falls asleep on top of me.

I’ve enjoyed lots of movies that didn’t make much sense. I loved Last Year at Marienbad and Donnie Darko. But Caché not only didn’t come to any satisfactory conclusion, but it bored me along the way. The “shock” scene in the Algerian man’s apartment was the only part of the whole movie that I liked.

Was there something in there that I totally missed? I’d love to hear from someone who liked Caché.

I liked Caché but then again I’m a big fan of movies and shows (The Sopranos, anyone?) that don’t supply all the answers. In addition, non-buff status aside, I don’t mind slow-moving stories and I like the “feel” of certain French films environs (not all, but some).

What gave me something to take home and chew over was the stuff that happened at his parents’ house in the flashbacks to when he was younger and the quiet, slow scene that happens as the credits roll.

If you don’t get or missed these, it will make it harder to get anything out of the film, even working it out on your own. If you did and still don’t like it, it’s okay.

FWIW, I hated Under the Sand (fell asleep), a ponderous, nothing-happens, half-fantasmic drag.

Was there anything to “get” in the last scene, other than

the Algerian man’s son talking with Pierrot? Was there any intelligible dialogue at the end? All I heard was indistinct crowd noise.

King Dad sometimes falls for pretentious movie reviews and dragged me to Caché. Should be Cliché. WTF? The big differences between this flick and standard Hollywood fare were that it took me almost halfway through the movie to figure out the big mystery (as opposed to almost immediately for Hollywood) and the noteworthy lack of firearms and cute girls.
OK, I’ll concede: that one scene at the end, where those two guys are facing each other down, is masterful. They both know that their petty sadistic actions are responsible for the Algerian guy’s despair and suicide, and they’re trying to get the other to 'fess up so as to absolve their own selves…wow.

I watched it and was utterly bemused. I made a friend watch it with me a few days later; similar bemusement followed. So then I watched the director’s explanation of the movie, which just pissed me off.

[spoiler]The director said he didn’t know why the two kids – French and Algerian – talked in the end. He said something about how this was a French movie, and you can just do stuff, but Americans need explanations and for stories to have meaning.

So I’m American, dammit![/spoiler]
There were elements of the story I thought were well done; the couple’s relationship with each other and with their group of friends; the flashback scenes and the current day scenes with his mother.

But overall, it just pissed me off.

Got a funny story about that.

Anyway, thanks for the review. I think I’ll take Cache off my Netflix queue to make room for something not French. (I’ve seen some great French movies, but also a lot where I end up thinking, “Okay, the actual story ended half an hour ago, yet for some reason these people are still there on the screen, jabbering in their heathen tongue.”)

I thought it was good; the unanswered questions leave you in a position where you really have to think about it. I don’t see that as a bad thing, myself, though most American moviegoers do tend to hate that.

Your own imaginings about what they *might *have said to each other at the will be a process, hopefully, of understanding how you yourself feel about the issues raised, rather than simply being spoonfed what the director thinks, as it would have been if say Spielberg had made it.

I enjoyed it. These days every possible twist ending has been done multiple times, there’s no way the director could have resolved the film and it not be a let down, so not resolving it makes the best sense.

Have you seen this one?

36 Quai des Orfèvres

I really enjoyed it.

I thought it was great.

The lack of resolution is the point. Haneke makes movies about movies, i.e., whose basic subject is their movieness for lack of a better term. Funny Games is the most obvious example; Caché is much more subtle in its approach and effects. It’s not a conventional movie by any means, and anyone watching it with that expectation will inevitably be disappointed. It’s not a movie for everybody, certainly.