Cache is a film that demonstrates artistic filmmaking at its finest. It also makes me appreciate the vision of Director Michael Haneke. I revisited Cache in the 50/50 Film Series that is held at the Gene Siskel Film center in downtown Chicago. The presentation in 35 MM projection is how the film should be experienced because of the layers of realism it creates for its diverse audience. Cache is a thriller filled with tension that is thought-provoking and intriguing.
The movie was released in 2005 and takes place in France. The film centers on Georges (played by Daniel Auteuil) and his wife, Anne (played by Juliette Binoche). Georges is a TV Literary reviewer and Ann is a publisher. They seem to be a couple with a normal life and successful careers, along with one young son. However, their life sees a shift in patterns as they begin to receive videotapes at their doorstep. The tapes contain footage of themselves, and this means there is a stalker out there surveilling them somewhere. As the situation begins to heighten the family’s anxiety, and with authorities being of no help, Georges decides he must address the problem. He feels he must take risks to piece together why someone is surveilling them.There are reasons but the reasons are hidden, hence the title Cache.
If fans know Haneke’s background, they will better understand his approach to creating tension in his films. Haneke is faithful to testing the waters of characterization and playing out situations that seem life-threatening. Cache is scary in part because Haneke knows how to add layers which contribute to understanding the stalking behavior that Georges and Anna are encountering. During the film, my mind kept wondering who has secrets to hide since even the secrets are Cache.
As the more hidden gems of footage cause increased anxiety and paranoia becomes the central theme of the film. Georges loses his cool with work, and Anne has her own moments as well. Their young son starts to feel like he is not important to his parents due to their distractions. The challenge is to figure out who is watching them, but can they still be a strong family? Even the element of a happy family is Cache.
The trail of questions that Cache leaves viewers with is mind-boggling. Along the way, there are more shocking discoveriesand issues at hand with the careers of Georges and Anne. Haneke is filling a bucket of harsh waters and waiting for it to spill in Cache. I kept wondering when the resolution would finally come.
Despite the tension, Cache is a representation of brilliant directing. The actors do an excellent job portraying their characters as they make their discoveries. During the film, the audience gets a clear picture of what it would be like to deal with threats that seem real and unavoidable. Haneke knows how to find the realism and make his audience keep asking what they would do if faced with the situations explored in his film. The authenticity in 35 MM was purely and visually audacious. Four stars.