Film scores

Soundtrack review: The secret in their eyes (El secreto de sus ojos) (Emilio Kauderer and Federico Jusid – 2009)

secret

The Secret in Their Eyes (Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos) is a 2009 Argentine crime thriller film directed, produced and edited by Juan José Campanella and written by Eduardo Sacheri and Campanella, based on Sacheri’s novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in Their Eyes). The film, a joint production of Argentine and Spanish companies, stars Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil. The story unearths the buried romance between a retired judiciary employee and a judge who worked together a quarter century ago. They recount their efforts on an unsolved 1974 rape and murder that is an obsession not only for them, but for the victim’s husband and the killer. The double setting frames the period of Argentina’s Dirty War (1974–1983), a violent time when criminality often went unpunished. I really enjoyed the movie and especially the ending. The music was written by Federico Jusid and Emilio Kauderer.

The opening theme “Her eyes” is just stunning; it’s so much more than a simple film music cue… it tells me a story in less than two minutes… actually, it lets me build a story from the sadness and questions this brilliant string and piano theme asks me. This piece is just as intense, fulfilling, revealing and shattering the look in the eyes of a special person, that look that tell you that there’s a lot more hiding behind those eyes.

Then comes “The doubt” which is even more beautiful, an explosion of orchestral wonder that just leaves me speechless. I feel the tear inducing intensity of the story and I feel the entire weight of what happened as it presses down on me. You don’t need more than a few well played instruments to create a storm of feelings. The composers went all in here and the result is marvelous. I can feel all their passion in the little cue of the same name and once I believe the composers there’s no way this score won’t go straight to my heart. It’s all in the main theme which plays the honest and diluted pain that 15 years have tried to heal.

I love how the score balances the emotions and feels very real in the way it navigates the human soul affected by painful memories and doubts. The music is honest and I can relate to many moments. Nothing feels exaggerated or forced and sometimes the quieter moments tell me even more than the ones that choke me with emotion. What’s even better is that the music vividly brings back the images from the movie to my mind. In the end, that’s the most important thing a film score can do.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 20 / 47

Album excellence: 42%

Highlights:

Her Eyes

The Doubt

Passion

Crime Scene

The Train Leaves

Seeking Morales

Finding Sandoval

Main Theme

Liliana’s Theme

The Bad News

Unwrapping the Truth

The Doubt (Reprise)

 

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment