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Film / Caché

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Caché (English: Hidden) is a 2005 French language Psychological Thriller written and directed by Michael Haneke.

Starring Daniel Auteuil as Georges and Juliette Binoche as his wife Anne, the film follows an upper class French couple who are terrorized by anonymous tapes that appear on their front porch and hint at childhood memories of the husband.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Ending: The film ends with a camera shot of Pierrot's school with Pierrot having a private conversation with Majid's son. It is uncertain whether or not the Laurents still receive anonymous videotapes as there is no real evidence Majid was the cameraman in question.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • At one point, Anne meets with Pierre to vent her frustration about Georges's secretive nature and comes home late that night with Georges noting that Anne turned off her cellphone and failed to inform him. Pierrot believes that Anne is actually cheating on Georges, but the film never states whether or not Pierrot's suspicion was correct.
    • The movie ends with Pierrot meeting Majid's son. Due to their implied familiarity with each other, it is unknown if this was their first meeting.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The family receives drawings of a figure with blood pouring out of its mouth.
  • Central Theme: The Algerian War is an important part of the story with the 1961 Paris massacre claiming the lives of multiple Algerian civilians, which includes Majid's parents. This leads to Georges's French family adopting Majid for some time until Georges's conflict with him drives Majid out. Years later, Georges rekindles the conflict when he suspects Majid is the perpetrator behind the tapes.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Unpleasant events of Georges's childhood catch up with him.
  • Driven to Suicide: Majid blames Georges for his miserable life which he ends right in front of him.
  • High-Pressure Blood: The fountain of blood coming from Majid's throat.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Not a bullet, but Majid drops dead instantly after slitting his throat.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The tapes that the Laurents receive record their house from a specific angle, and occasionally the movie's camera would film the Laurent's home from the same angle.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Many shots, most notably the videos sent to the main character, show nothing more than the exterior of Georges's house for long periods of time. Other choice shots include three minutes of Pierrot and two other kids swimming laps and the closing scene of Majid's son and Pierrot talking without audible dialogue.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In the final scene, the camera has a wide shot of the school's front doors. Due to the camera angle and the numerous people standing or walking around the school, it is very easy to miss Majid's son enter the frame from the right and walk up the school steps to greet Pierrot before they both walk down the steps to the camera's left to have a private conversation .
  • Mockstery Tale: It is never revealed who sent the tapes and drawings to the family, and it is heavily implied to be a metaphor for Georges's subconscious guilt complex.
  • Never My Fault: Georges refuses to accept any real responsibility for Majid's situation and later suicide, even when Majid's son directly confronts him about it. The son even remarks how surprising it is to see how little a man's life weighs upon him. However, this is possibly a Subverted Trope, as Georges' repeated dreams about Majid imply that he feels more guilt than he's letting on.
  • Proscenium Reveal: The opening scene is a video the Laurents are watching on their TV. The audience only realizes this when the tape is being rewound.
  • Reality Has No Soundtrack: There is no music, save for the theme on George's show, and background music at Anne's publishing party.
  • Red Herring: Played with. There are multiple suspects, but the film never reveals who actually sent the tapes.
    • Majid is the main suspect, at least for Georges, who continually hounds Majid until Majid commits suicde. Given that Georges was responsible for ousting Majid from his family, Majid as the perpetrator would possibly want to take some revenge for Georges's past wrongdoing.
    • Extrapolating from above, Majid's son would have a similar motive and may have had help.
    • Pierrot believes that his mother is having a secret affair and thus would have a good motive to record Georges's house. Also, Pierrot is frequently missing for most of the film, which would allow him to place hidden cameras without getting caught, and his familiarity with Majid's son may suggest that Two Dun It for their own reasons.
    • When Georges and Anne have dinner with their friends, they have a conversation about their absentee friend Frederic, a director who is writing a film. When Georges asks Pierre for more details, Pierre admits that he has no idea what Frederic's film is about. Frederic remains absent for the rest of the film.
  • Silent Credits: The opening credits are a big block of text over a still scene and the end credits roll over a silent shot of Pierrot meeting Majid's son.
  • Slashed Throat: Self-inflicted by Majid.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Majid invites Georges into his home, casually produces a knife from his pocket and slits his own throat. Then he drops dead instantly without moving a limb.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: Who sent the tapes and drawings to the family?
  • Untranslated Title: The title Caché was not translated for Foreign releases except for the UK/Ireland.
  • You Bastard!: The family is disturbed that someone is spying on them. Obviously, the audience is subject to this criticism.