Saturday, 24 September 2011

the secret in their eyes

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?


  1. I've never come across the film so I can't say much about it, except that the idea of a happily married woman suddenly dismantling her family life to be with a "grand passion" seems highly unlikely. Maybe if the supposed happy marriage was actually a pretence and she secretly felt thoroughly miserable and empty....

  2. the film won an oscar last year but being argentinian i guess it didnt get a whole lot of attention

  3. you aren't sold on the idea of grand passion, nick?

  4. Hmmm, an interesting, ponderous question, Spesh.
    Should a person dismantle their comfortable life to be with a grand passion. I'm afraid there isn't an answer to this. There are pros and cons to each.
    If said person stays in the comfortable life, will they continuously regret, and always think 'what if?' - indeed, will there be a tinge of resentment toward their spouse? Or can they make the decision to stay and then put the grand passion idea out of their heads completely? Will this, in turn, lead to depression, and therefore affect the children? The woman owes it to her children to be happy herself.
    On the other hand, if the woman decides to go for the grand passion, what guarantee is there that it will work? Will it live up to her expectations or will it be a huge disappointment? If she goes for it and it doesn't work, would she be able to return to the comfortable marriage or not?
    There are ideas for it, and against, but if it were me, I'd probably go for it - taking a risk for more happiness is possibly worth it, but then you might end up with nothing.
    Does that all make sense?

  5. makes perfect sense peej!
    so it all comes down to the question of whether a person is a gambler then doesnt it?

  6. Well, kinda - the woman in the movie needs to work out, firstly
    A - what would make her the happiest.
    B - would her happiness affect her children.
    C - but, maybe even more importantly, would her unhappiness affect her children more than B.

  7. Terrific blog Kylie.......Quite the wonderful question. Having lived the question personally and having dismantled my own life to live a dream I can say it is the most amazing if scary - step one can take.

    Everyone deserves to live their life to their Highest Good. What deserves soul-searching is the question: And just what IS my Highest Good?

    There is no right, there is no wrong. People are entitled to their opinions and harsh judgments but ultimately it's all about choice.

    We are all free to do - or not do - anything we choose as long as we are willing to live with the consequences of our actions.

    Personally I am about living out a Grand Passion whatever that may be. It's a pretty short journey all in all and we rarely regret what we did when we die - only what we did NOT do.

    Great blog.

  8. That whole dismantling thing fro green grass on the other side of the fence I have never seen work out well at all. especially when everything was good until the old comes into the new.

  9. The French have the right slant on this issue, take a mistress.

  10. mykuljay,
    thanks for the compliment!

    walking man,
    well they say second marriages are even shorter than firsts.....

    mr charleston,
    i tend to agree with you there but the french tolerate the idea, australians and americans are a little more idealistic

  11. I'm very sold on the idea of a grand passion, but whether it justifies turning your whole existing life upside down is another matter. It's certainly a huge gamble, as supposed grand passions frequently collapse into something more mundane - or even total delusion.

  12. My grandmother apparently used to say that the grass is greener on the other side but you still have to cut it just the same.

    It sounds a very interesting story- similar themes to Bridges of Madison County? In that film Meryl Streep decides to stay with hubby rather than follow her grand passion of Clint Eastwood. Always makes me cry.

    Very good questions posed here- I am sure that staying in the marriage, especially if there are children and there is still love and mutual respect, is probably the 'right' thing to do.


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