We move between 1974 and the late 1990s. In the film’s present, former prosecutor, grey-haired Benjamín (Ricardo Darín) is writing a novel inspired by a key episode in his career: the case, 25 years earlier, of the rape and murder of a beautiful young woman. This was an event which pitched go-getting, principled Benjamin against judicial corruption (a symptom, we assume, of the military dictatorship) and cemented his unspoken feelings for his better-educated, better-bred new boss, Irene (Soledad Villamil), whose arrival in their wood-panelled offices coincides with this death.
The hunt for the killer takes up much of the two-hour-plus running time and is diverting enough, while the later penning of Benjamin’s book causes him to revisit both his friendship with Irene and the legacy of this case (calling for ample whitening of hair and dodgy make-up). It’s this cross-cutting and sense of time past and lost that’s meant to inspire a gradual embrace of ‘big’ themes, but the twin, shallow and pretty obvious ones that emerge are, firstly, that injustice breeds injustice and, secondly, that true love will triumph in the end. Cue orchestra!