Thursday, March 27, 2008
Funny Games Review
This movie is horribly difficult for me to review. On the one hand the film is really tremendously well acted. Naomi Watts, though she may play the crying girl role a bit too often, is truly one of the best actresses working today. She manages to bring something real to a character that is not dissimilar from the crap you see in something like Hostel. Tim Roth and Devon Gearhart fill out the family nicely. Michael Pitt is unbelievably creepy as the main tormentor; though I found his co-tormentor, Brady Corbet, gave something of a lacking performance. The film is well lensed, well constructed and wonderfully framed.
The big problem is Haneke's method of delivering his message - that there is something perverse and wrong in the enjoyment of violence in films - is unbelievably heavy handed. Haneke has all the subtlety of Michael Bay when he has his tormentor's break the fourth wall and talk to the audience about their torture and the progression of the story. That doesn't even mention the ridiculous moment when one of the villains pulls a Click by rewinding with a remote control to undo a mistake in execution of the plan. We get it, we're a perverse society for embracing violent films, but, perhaps, we could have some sort of subtle delivery of that message? Mr. Haneke, this isn't the art you think it is and the hubris of making a shot-by-shot remake of your own film from a decade ago makes me ill.
Overall Score: 4/10