Patience is rewarded, however, by a resonant script acted out with careful performances. Georges and Anne, two of the most realistic characters ever placed in a loaded situation like this, have been receiving these tapes along with strange postcards bearing crude, violent drawings. The threatening deliveries cast suspicion on a childhood acquaintance of Georges', an Algerian (Maurice Bénichou) he helped ruin out of jealousy. The memories of these events are painful for Georges, and the closer he gets to figuring out what's going on, the more painful such knowledge becomes, eventually threatening to ruin his family and career.
The English translation of "Caché" is "Hidden," and the title offers many interpretations. The hidden camera is obvious, especially because "Piano Teacher" director Michael Haneke always shows us the footage through the eyes of Georges and Anne always on their television and always straight on, full screen. He only lets us in on what we are watching by the length of the shot, or when it is summarily paused, rewound or ejected from the VCR. With each new scene we wonder: Are we watching the film, or the film within the film?
Lives in "Caché" are also hidden. Not just inner emotions, but memories and ideas. Even family members begin to realize how little they know each other and how ignorance is usually self-inflicted. "Caché" is a rare thriller. When its mystery is probed, it only deepens. The more we find out, the less we really know. S