Caché (Hidden) is a kind of thriller but more of a suspense film that was released in 2005. Directed by Michael Haneke, it is the story of Georges Laurent and his wife Anne Laurent. They have a son Pierrot who is in high school and is a member of the school’s swim team. Georges is quite successful as the host of a Literary Review & Discussion show on French television. Anne is a senior editor in a major Paris publishing house.
They live in an elegant town house and from the outside things look ideal. The reason I say from the outside, is that the film opens with a static image of a house. Soon enough, people walk by, cars pass, bicyclists roll by. Then we hear a man and woman talking and we see that what begin as a still image is actually a video taken from a stationary camera. The camera is shooting from a few feet down a side street, looking directly at their townhouse.
This is just the first of many surprises that the director and screenwriter send our way. Georges and Anne have been sent a video of the front entrance to their home.
In fact, we even see Georges walking straight towards the camera as his car is parked in the same block. When we see this, we immediately think – Georges would have noticed a man with a camera had a man with camera been there. But Georges didn’t react or notice anyone and the video continued after he passes.
The next day, they find another tape – this one taken from the same place. It is of their house but it is at night. Now they are very concerned and worried. Their stress brings a certain amount of cracks in their relationship out where we can see them. They’re a married couple, and successful in their professions, but now we see that they’re not always on the same page.
The question looms – Who is surveilling their home and why?
This is a case of them believing they are being spied on and it isn’t just paranoia because they’ve been sent the videos.
They go to the police. The police can do nothing. They won’t even promise to send a police car to the block at random times because the video contained no threats, no demands, and did not imply anything.
Georges is quite upset. Leaving the police station he steps into the street without looking in each direction and is nearly run over by a man on a bicycle. Georges swears at him and is very abusive. The man is black. When Georges continues to berate the man – the bicyclist’s response is to ask, ” Who was the one that stepped into the street from between parked cars without looking?”
While Georges doesn’t make an issue of the man’s race, it takes Anne to request that they both cool down. ‘Let ‘s let it go and move on.’ And they do.