Who sent the videotapes? Those who were left scratching their heads after “Cache,” Michael Haneke’s perversely ambiguous thriller about a middle-class Parisian couple who find themselves under anonymous surveillance, will get no answer from the DVD — no alternate endings, no spell-it-out commentaries, no hidden bonus videos. What the disc does offer is a tantalizing peek into the dark mind of Haneke, the Austrian helmer who, with this 2005 arthouse favorite, cemented his reputation as one of Europe’s most disquietingly brilliant auteurs.
The extras here are on the slim side — why the pic’s idiosyncratic trailer was left out, while coming attractions for 10 other Sony releases were included, is a mystery as impenetrable as the one in the film — but they’re essential nonetheless. In a 25-minute interview, Haneke delves into the story’s buried themes of guilt and repression, its elusive dream sequences and its not-so-subtle political baggage, yet maddeningly avoids providing concrete answers. The behind-the-scenes doc trains an observant eye on Haneke as he directs scene after scene, sketching a portrait of perhaps the most precise, controlling and obsessive cinematic perfectionist since Stanley Kubrick.
Then there’s the film itself, which, like those pesky videotapes, can be replayed again and again without ever giving up its secrets. Viewers who missed the key revelation in the enigmatic final shot will have a grand time freezing the frame and studying it to their heart’s discontent.