11.07.2019 in Review

El Secreto De Sus Ojos

About the Director

Alejandro Amenabar who is also known as Alejandro Fernando Cantos was born on March, 31 1972.  He is not only a Spanish film director but also a composer and screenwriter. He has since won 9 Goyas an Oscar and two European awards among other honors. A part from Mar Adentro he has also directed other movies for which include: The Others(2001), Open Your Eyes (1997), Agora (2009) and most recently, Regression done in 2015.

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Mar Adentro is a Spanish phrase which means the sea inside. It is also the title of one of Alejandro’s most intriguing pieces of work done in 2004. The movie is a drama film whose theme revolves around the life of man fighting for the right to end his life. A diving accident leaves Ramon Sampedro paralyzed. The accident causes him injuries and illnesses which render him unable to use his limbs and torso. Due to the frustrations caused by his state, he sees no worth in life and subsequently begins a journey to obtain the right to end his life, with dignity. During his 28-year campaign for this right, he endlessly supports Euthanasia (Fernando & Amenabar, 2004).


Personal Opinion and Response to Other Critics

The plot and setting of the movie is one thing I find attractive about the production. The soundtracks used are effective as they help enhance the mood of the movie. Through the main character, the director clearly brings out the aspect of pain and suffering. Though he is terminally ill, Sampredo remains vibrant throughout his roles which at least do away with the melancholy that would have been associated with his eminent death. Some of the most attractive scenes for me, and based on the theme of the movie, included the courtroom sessions. The scenes provided more opportunity for interaction between the audience and the characters thereby enabling them to understand the flow of the story. The imaginary flying and the accident scenes were also quite intriguing. The scenes allowed the audience a partial answer to Sampedro’s desire to die; they depicted his frustrations and the perspective that life had no meaning. The long scenes of discussions especially in the family conversations perhaps ought to have been made shorter. Furthermore, I personally didn’t fancy the scenes which were shot in the bedroom. The accident part honestly placed me at the age of my seat as I struggled to believe why the victim would pull such a dangerous stunt. For the movie to appeal to a wider audience, I would suggest a detailed interpretation or translation of the parts involving the characters speaking Spanish. For non-speakers, failure to understand the flow of the story might be an obstacle to them getting the entertainment they ought to, by watching the movie. The director also successfully intertwines the four different elements of love, heartbreak, pain and death together in an interesting way. Despite his pain and suffering, it is encouraging to see that Sampedro still has a place in his heart to love. A part from his family’s support, he has the love and care of his attorney with whom he falls in love as the case proceeds. In this case the audience is treated to an unusual marriage between love and pain. One of the things that the movie clearly depict about the Spanish society is their stand against Euthanasia. The period Sampedro takes to win the case is a clear indication that the Spanish laws do not only prohibit Euthanasia but also shuns the act of helping a person to his/her death even if the latter consents to it. It is because he doesn’t want to place any of his family members in a compromising legal situation that he fights for the right to end his life by himself and not through anybody’s assistance. The Spanish phrase that I learned and can easily relate with after watching the movie is Mar Adentro which means the sea inside. The sea inside can be turbulent at one point but turns extremely calm in the next moment.The phrase was actually a fitting title for this movie. While some of the critics could be right about the movie, I wouldn’t agree with some. The negative review about the use of sound to overemphasize the thematic expressions in some scenes is not precise as I personally found the musical backgrounds appropriately fitting the scenes. Other reviews depict the movie as uninteresting yet I feel this is one of the most entertaining pieces I have ever watched.  As a matter of facts, the movie got me thinking about “Guzaarish” which is an adaption from the film and Javier Bardem’s antagonist’s role in Skyfallin which Daniel Craig stars. However, I would agree with the views of the critics on the proposition that some of the materials aired in the movie were quite explicit.


Mar Adentro is a movie that truly deserves the critical acclaim it has received from the various audiences since its premier. It is hard to find a movie whose theme revolves around death and suffering, that interesting. The director did a good job on this piece of work because the movie is not only entertaining but also educative. From the interaction with the actors, we learn a lot about the Spanish culture, their customs and beliefs. At the same time, the imaginary flying scene allows the audience to see the beautiful natural scenes of Spain as the camera flies over the valleys and trees.

Film director, Juan J. Campanella Bibliography

Juan J. Campanella is well known as an Argentine film and television director, a producer and a writer. Not only is Juan is a prominent character in a cinema in his country but also he is famous worldwide after the release of the movie ‘The secret in their Eye’ in 2009. Juan J. Campanella was born in Argentina a town known as Buenos on 19th July, 1959.  He won several academic award as being the best Film producer in Foreign Language. Juan is a product of New York University in the school of Arts.  Some of the films that was seen to a success by Juan are ‘Son of the Bride” in 2001 and ‘Underdogs’ in 2013. I like the movie ‘The secret in their Eye’. This is because it speak of criminology from ones experience point of view. One (Benjamin) is haunted for not taking the responsibility while at a position to. He was an investigator who did not handle a crime case before he retired. The movie talks of a case where justice should prevail irrespective of how long the cases have taken without being handled. Benjamin, a retired criminal court investigator wants justice to take its course over the unresolved murder and rape case that has been pending for decades. To Benjamin, the criminal cases haunt him because he did not manage to resolve them at his tenure.

Spanish, a Latin-American Society

Spanish are people who are secretive about the underlying evil that engulfs the society. There are many sensitive criminals that require to be handled with keenness and urgently. For instance, the murder and rape scenarios are cases where one should expect justice to take its course within a shortest time possible. They should be treated with urgency. On the contrary, Spanish takes decades to initiate the hearings of such cases in the court.  This as a result promotes stigma that cannot be resolved within the stipulated time. Therefore, it is tricky for justice of crime to prevail in Spain since the judges and investigators takes the matters personally instead of professionally. Well-crafted flashback and fancy cinematography reveals how Spain is experiencing military dictatorship.

Most Impressive Scene

Long-lost love scene is the most impressive in the movie. Juan has managed to express different genre just to ensure that justice may prevail despite the ‘Secret in their eyes.’ Benjamin is seen to carry out investigations of the crimes that have lasted decades. Benjamin having known Irene as a judge who deals with old crime, he approached her for the same despite a long carried torch between the two known us the ‘chemistry of love.’

Spanish Word Leant

“El secreto de sus ojos stand for ‘the secret in their eyes.’ The weak part of the movie is when justice fails to prevail after intensive investigation is carried out. Retribution and revenge becomes the outcome of crime that has been lying dormant for decades. Despite the nature of crimes that took place in decades ago, murder and rape is still being experienced in Spain due to the existence of ‘sleeping’ judiciary systems. It is hard to believe that the affected people cannot get justice on time and forever notwithstanding the processes of persecution system that is being taken on individual basis. Lack of justice in Spain may be as a result of unbothered judges who don’t care the depth at which crime affects people. The ‘I don’t care attitude’ of judges is due to the rate at which crime happens. Crime in Spain is the order of the day. Criminals walk free. Any hint of a criminal case being investigated leads to brutal vengeance to the affected.

Critics Said In USA

According to critics in USA, Spain leads in human-right abuse, and I agree with the statement. This is because of the act that police officers do allow a psychopathic murderer and rapist go free by pretending to fight against homegrown terrorism. Women on the other hand are reduced to a shadow. This is revealed when Jess daughter say a phrase that shadow of death has reduced women.

Related Book

‘The secret in their eyes’ has made me think of “The Girl with No Past” by Kathryn Croft. This book talks of a young woman who underwent a horrendous burden in her past. The movie and the book have one thing in common. They reveal the past of the characters that has been so embarrassing. Up to the end of the scenes, no justice took place. The parties of crime still leave with the stigmas despite having dreams that one day justice will prevail. Last but not least, women characters are vulnerable to the crime that engulfs the two societies. At the end, it is technical to understand what goes on in the life of women in the society. In Spain, justice did not take place even after further investigations was carried out that the criminal identified. On the other hand, Leah in “The Girl with No Past” by Kathryn Croft wonders through the phrases in the book as follows, “What’s going on” “what happened” “who happened”. In conclusion, women are diminished in the two societies. Women are more vulnerable to murder, rape and most crime in the society. Despite the existence of judiciary systems and police officers in the societies, criminals will still walk freely. An attempt to seek for justice may not materialize since judges handles crime matters with emotions. Only the rich are guaranteed ‘justice’ as the poor become the oppressed forever.

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