Cache is a film that many will hate, and many will love. The director's ambition is very lofty. A film where resolution does not come in expected forms, where many questions are left unanswered, but still one where the film seems complete. More than a mere thriller, this film seems to personify imperialist guilt and "white burden" better than any I've seen in recent memory. But that's just a small part - perhaps more importantly, it crosses the boundary of filmmaking in a way similar to Annie Hall and the occasional nod to the camera in Ferris Bueller. That sort of wink to the audience to let them know that the film is in fact a film, and the audience is an important element. But much more subtle than those films - no one looks at the audience. It's just the constant doubt about what is being shown - is it film or is it "the story"? Are they the same thing? That sort of thing.
Whether you hate it or love it, the film is something you must see and think about. It's not quite as bipolar in potential reaction as Irreversible, no need to worry about that. The director deftly manipulates the audience by manipulating the art form. Every scene is one we can't trust in a traditional sense, because it might be a film the characters are watching.
As I left the theater, it reminded me of the Conversation. It had that same sort of paranoia about it. Who is watching, why, and is anything hidden? Is privacy an illusion?
Thinking further, I discarded this thought. It then reminded me of Ozu. A simple story that is a clear allegory for modern society. The way we sit in our comfortable housing and watch with only mild interest news of horror and pain, hiding it away in our memories.
Thinking further, I discarded this thought too. It then reminded me of films like Rear Window. The way the audience is toyed with in a way that draws us in, engages us, and makes us question the nature of film and voyeurism.
About 12 hours later, I'd say it's all of those.
The style may be off-putting to some. It's a cold movie - do not think that it will be like The Piano Teacher, by the same director. It is more like a Gus Van Sant film, except one with plot, purpose, and clear intellect. Lots of long, really long shots. Unlike Van Sant, though, the throw away shots that seem to last too long have a real purpose.
See this film, it's one of the best films from 2005.