do you ever watch a film and feel as if you are missing something? the secret in their eyes was one of those movies for me. reviews describe it as rich with symbolism so maybe i can forgive myself, it's obviously a multi-layered story and if i watch it again i might do better but now for my initial impressions .....
the protagonist, benjamin esposito, is a retired detective trying to find closure to a twenty five year old murder through writing a novel and at the same time he is revisiting his unrequited love for his supervisor on the case, irene menendez.
the story of the murder and enquiry was possibly a tiny bit far fetched but truth is stranger than fiction and altogether i thought it was a marvellous story. i was especially delighted with the way that esposito and menendez got their killer to confess.
the part that i cant get out of my head though, is the sub-plot, the romance. right through the investigation we know that benjamin is pretty mad about irene but is intimidated by her position. we see her wishing him to act on it but she doesn't make it clear and the opportunity is lost when she marries someone else.
when he retires and starts writing his novel he goes to see her about it. it is clear that she has a good life, she enjoys her career, adores her children and is happy. then, and i'm still hazy on how it happens, we understand that she is prepared to dismantle all of that to be with him.
the romantic in me loves, no LOVES it but it begs some questions:
the "relationship" was mostly non-existent, how does she know she wants to dismantle a life for something so untested?
how much does she owe her husband who we must assume has been a good partner?
how much does she owe her children?
is it reasonable to dismantle a perfectly good life for the sake of a grand passion?
is it reasonable not to?