The Hidden Face (Day 61)

The Hidden FaceMy Opinion: 5.9 || Flawed but diverting thriller with a clever-enough plot. As in so many thrillers, the action hinges on someone doing something brain-numbingly stupid, and the characters aren’t particularly interesting or sympathetic. But the director keeps things moving and provides a (mostly) satisfying sequence of twists.

TITLE: The Hidden Face ( )
DIRECTOR: Andrés Baiz
LANGUAGE: Spanish | COUNTRY: Colombia
YEAR: 2011
PROFILE: Thriller | 97 minutes | IMDb (7.0)

SYNOPSIS (Courtesy of IMDb): A Spanish orchestra conductor deals with the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend.

The Hidden Face

Strengths: The story opens well and the director Andrés Baiz maintains a brisk pace, with a lean run time. He’s good at setting things up without showing his cards and then returning to crucial scenes to show a different perspective.

Weaknesses: Everything pivots on one the characters doing something that’s farfetched (she hoping to achieve what again?) and very dumb. Beyond that, we need to believe that no one in the movie is the least bit curious about some very peculiar architecture. There’s also stupendously shortsighted engineering and lazy police work. (The entire mystery would have been solved simply by calling the last person to see the victim — something that police have been known to do).

The Hidden Face

Characters/Performances: The female leads (Martina García and Clara Lago) are beautiful and deliver solid performances. The male lead, on the other hand: strange choice. Quim Gutiérrez is no match looks-wise for the women who supposedly adore him, and it’s hard to accept him as a genius orchestra conductor. It’s true that the script doesn’t give him much to work with, but that doesn’t excuse the drab, remote quality of his performance. Overall, no character is very likeable, and much of the plot hinges on their shifting acts of pettiness and cynicism.

The Hidden Face

Best Moments: As the film progresses, Baiz deftly shows us scenes from different perspectives — compelling us to re-contextualize what we’ve already witnessed.

File Under: stupid characters, pettiness, missing persons, mirrors, dumb police