So this was supposed to be a remake of the Argentinian flick “The Secret in their Eyes”. Unfortunately this turned out to be one of the worst remakes ever made.
Let us crawl slowly through the direction department:
It isn’t intense. Doesn’t let you connect at all. The office romance of Chiwetel and Nicole lacks the chemistry it was supposed to reach. Billy Ray goes for two parallel storylines which further vexes the audience. Primary reason being, Chiwetel looks exactly the same in both timelines, (his white beard is the only thing that could have probably pin pointed, and the flick’s story, which as a matter of fact, compels you to spend minutes wondering what they are really talking about to grasp which timeline you are exactly in)
Moving on to the plot front. So they did change the story a bit with the inclusion of Julia Roberts to the tale. Making her daughter a victim. The initial bits of the movie were quite powerful where she gives a power pack performance whilst grieving. Then she too gets bogged down by the flick’s poor direction. Screenplay is sometimes fine, but at most junctures lanced by inappropriate editing.
The story also lacks a proper Dirty War backdrop. Here 9/11 terrorism is taken into account for a distraught system. Although the plot of the movie runs directly on the rails of the Argentinian version, you incessantly feel something isn’t right. Music of the movie isn’t profound and is the detachable kind, not present at most of the crucial junctures.
Nicole is pretty much simply there, expressionless yet sensuous. You almost don’t figure out if Nicole was bluffing whilst challenging Marzin of his manhood. So poorly made! Even the final bits where everything was supposed to actually matter, things become so hazy and bleak you start thinking if it would end in a different fashion altogether.
Chiwetel tries to hold every bit on his shoulders alone, but unfortunately falls in the muck of some weird unfeeling love and looks of his co-stars. A very bad remake, actually. Go watch the original!