Monday, May 7, 2012

Funny Games

I really need to learn to not get my expectations up so high for some films. I always get my hopes dashed.

This can be applied to Michael Haneke's Funny Games. I heard it was a film full of torture, sadism and all sorts of nastiness, something bound to horrify anyone who dared watched. If that's the case, then what was the garbage I saw?

Seriously, it's like Haneke didn't even try to make it the least bit suspenseful. It would have been nice, but he didn't even give a hint of it. Frustrating, really. (I doubt the remake made improvements.)

It has its...perks, for lack of a better word. However, there are few. There is an amusing brief sequence towards the end, but that's all there is. It starts off promising, but it all goes downhill from there. And quite quickly too.

Haneke really has a lot to do to get me interested in his work. I mean, The Piano Teacher was a little too bizarre, and Funny Games was a bloody mess, figuratively and literally. What should have been a tale of terror  ended up being insufferable and excruciating to watch. The only torture involved with this film is towards anyone who dares to watch this drivel.

My Rating: **1/2


  1. I shouldn't talk about it, since I'll only start an argument, but Haneke's point with this film was to be the exact opposite of suspenseful. He was basically taking the piss out of television and movies where filmmakers use violence without giving it a second thought, something that irritated him immensely. Let's get something clear: I did not enjoy a single second of this. It's one of my least favourite Haneke films. But I get what he was trying to do and I appreciate him for it. I watched a 90-minute interview with him once, and the man has such a way with words in expressing how he feels about society today. He's never preachy or over-the-top, he just likes to say his feelings, and I was surprised how humane and nice he was to talk to. He has a way of getting his message across, and sure it's not for everyone, but damnit I love his style. I can't help that I love it. Sure, Funny Games is weak compared to his other work, and Haneke is a bit too blatant with some of his messages (they work a lot better when he's using them more subtly, like in Code Unknown or Cache), but that's his style. Like it or hate it. I think you will find a Haneke film you like (The White Ribbon is the only one I'm certain you'd like) eventually, but stick with it. It's a shame you saw this one as your second Haneke film; this one and The Piano Teacher are the two that are probably the worst to watch if you're new to him. If Cache or The White Ribbon ever become available to you, give them a chance. And if you're still going to watch Code Unknown after this mess, then good on you, I can't wait to hear about it. End of rant. :)

  2. I've only seen the remake and I thought it was extremely disturbing.

  3. Finally, a movie you dislike. And I totally understand it, as other people have criticized his work for being smug and pretentious. Why is he commenting on sadism while being a sadist himself (strangely enough barely any of the violence is ever on screen)? Although there is truth to what he's saying despite of how many fingers he uses to point to the crowd/audience/mainstream media. And this nihilism highlights the humanity within its victims, their parts performed superbly by Ulrich Muhe (RIP) and Susanna Lothar. I should know better but this was my gateway Haneke and it opened some doors and possibilities of what I perceived movies should be.

  4. Wow, is this the worst rated review on your site? Needless to say, I hated Funny Games. I felt like a kid watching an older kid be a completely pretentious ass about what movies should be like. Then the fact that he remade his own damn movie shot for shot in another langauge? Come on! Get off your high horse. I get what he was trying to say, but the bottom line is: Movies have to be entertaining or interesting. This film was neither.

  5. I second what Tyler said. Exactly.


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