Nobody Cares

Todos lo saben (Everybody Knows; Asghar Farhadi, 2018)

This was the second time in a week I’d seen a psychological thriller which was frankly a soap with famous actors. Laura (Penélope Cruz) returns from Argentina for a wedding to her home village with her children, but not her husband, and is reunited with Paco (Javier Bardem), a former lover whose family had worked for her family’s vineyard and had bought it some years before. At the reception, everyone gets drunk, and the daughter, Irene (Carla Campra), retires to bed early and is kidnapped.

The celebrations are long and drawn out, and you’d think would be introducing us to the suspects, including Paco’s tearaway son with a moped, and there’s a Scorsese family feel to it. Bardem is suitably solid and Cruz remains radiant, and you are clearly kept guessing as to which family secret is behind the abduction and who has done this — her father, perhaps, Paco, oddly, as part of a feud he seems more the victim of than the instigator. Why is he helping? Why is he raising the ransom money? Why is his wife being contacted by the kidnappers?

And then, there’s the big reveal, which is a damp squib. In the end, Farhadi doesn’t really care about it as the heart of the film is family secrets which everybody knows. There was no sense of satisfaction in the discovery, no sense of uncovery, just an, oh… The cutting away from the main protagonists just felt like a mistake.

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