2002: Ray Kasten (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess Cobb (Julia Roberts) are two investigators in a private police unit led by the DA. When they receive an anonymous tip about a girl raped and killed, they rush to the scene. Ray realizes it is Jess' daughter and the team falls apart due to the grief. In 2015, Ray comes back to LA, and says that after 13 years, he has found a lead and convinces the DA to reopen the case. They find clues and leads unknown to them, and secrets from the past come to light as they start discovering the real, chilling truth. Meanwhile, Jess, dissatisfied with the law, decides to take matters into her own hands and track down the killer, no matter what lengths she has to go to.Written by
If you haven't seen "El Segreto de sus ojos" I beg you to stop reading and go check it out, it is, in my opinion, one of those rare and pure thrillers that keeps you glued to the screen for two hours. Yet, despite loving the original, I wasn't going into this one ready to bitch about it. I am someone who is very sniffy about remakes, but hey if you have an fascinating premise that can be explored through various styles and dynamics I am all for it. Especially in this case, I think that keeping some of the core material and turning other parts completely around could have made for a fascinating narrative, unfortunately the American remake, with the exception of maybe two or three ides, doesn't improve, explore or further the original in anyway and sometimes even edges the shot-by-shot remake treatment.
Look, this isn't a terrible thriller, but the emotional beats you are carried through are just the same of the original, it really seemed to be watching a cheap version of it. It is way too reminiscent of the original and at some moments I really felt exactly when I saw it. Whilst at other moments I kind of felt sorry for the remake because it doesn't manage to replicate some of the amazing photography the first one had and actually miserably fails: this film has some really, noticeably cheap cinematography and editing.
The performances are all kind of off beat. Julia Roberts is definitely the best one, even though she also has some low points. The rest of the cast is just flat honestly. Nobody even tries to come in and give it some palpable passion. The film is also inconsistent with tone and I am not sure they understood the fascination of the original because a lot of the focus points are just sidelined or shoehorned in.
That's also a real bummer, because the film does have just a couple of good ideas that aren't simply built on. They tread too much of the same ground and do it in a way that is simply too familiar. I can maybe think of one thing that was improved upon and that is mainly thanks to Julia Roberts' talent. The score is something that positively sticks out and probably the purest good thing to come out of the film.
In the end we are treated to a fine thriller that doesn't live up to its potential and only manages to justify its length thanks to memories of the original and the same emotions instead of relevant improvement and originality.
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