Adrián (Quim Guitiérrez), is a conductor, and he’s a prodigy in leading an orchestra, but also the several women in his life into craziness, or into, at least, adopting excessive behaviors. His first girlfriend Belén (Clara Lago) dropped everything in Spain, to follow him into Bogota, but after a few time, she began to have cheating suspicions. Therefore she decided to test her fiancé, by leaving him a video telling him she was gone.
But wait, that’s not all, as they moved into a new house that they were renting, Belén weaved a friendly relationship with the owner, Emma (Alexandra Stewart), who shared with her the secret of a hidden room. Her husband, an engineer, built it a long time ago, and the reasons why he built it are rather dark. Indeed, he was a nazi and it is possible that he hid himself there when the World War 2 ended and people were searching for nazis to be judged. However, Belén decided to hid herself in there to watch, through mirrors, Adrián’s reaction to her video, hoping he will be feeling devastated, proving his feelings for her. And she get what she expected.
The Problem? She forgot the key, and stayed stuck in this soundproofed room. Thus, she’ll be witnessing Adrián’s life without her, or more especially, with Fabiana (Martina Garciá, who is a terrible actress).
Andrés Baiz, the director, did something interesting; he used both Fabiana and Belén points of view, beginning with Fabiana’s one, without explaining us the whole situation, only starting the movie with Adrián watching the video Belén did. When Fabiana moved in, she began to hear noises, see the water moving, or changing of temperature without touching it. She then thought a ghost was haunting the house, but then, little by little, she figured out the whole thing.
What I really appreciated in The Hidden Face, is that, even though the concept might sound wacky and fragile, or original but not screenable, and even if dealing with betrayal, manipulation, egoism and jealousy, the Colombian thriller knew how not to fall into the stereotyped, kitschy style of telenovelas and Baiz found a way to make it work.
Voyeurism is at its best, and provided the effect of mise en abyme where we, spectators, are watching Belén, watching Adrián and Fabiana. As a scheme: a box in a box in a box.