Thursday, May 14

Funny Games (2008).


I mentioned I wanted to see this movie in an earlier post. I finally did last night as it stormed around us. Probably not the best choice of atmosphere.

This was the 2008 version with Tim Roth (recently in Fox's Lie to Me) and Naomi Watts (recently saw her in William Friedkin's Bug). And as one of the bad guys, Michael Pitt (recently saw him in Delirious with Steve Buscemi)

Funny Games certainly isn't for everyone but it was different enough for me to like it.

This is a scene by scene English remake of the original Austrian 1997 thriller.

It was unsettling and brutal (but not "Saw" bloody). I thought it was well filmed (great low light inside and outside shots) with an interesting and intelligent dialogue.

I really enjoyed the kitchen scene at the beginning where eggs are borrowed and broken and the friendliness to a visitor slowly disolves into discourteous behavior towards him. It seemed so real given the circumstances.

The two characters dressed mostly in tennis white were unsettling; very creepy but realistic in a way. At times they would talk directly into the camera to us. Towards the end there is a scene that defies time and space. ?????

It has a slow pacing and look that reminded me of another of Haneke's movies, CACHE. I could almost sense a Hitchcockian feel it with the absence of onscreen violence.

Little details that end up part of the plot are almost broadcast to you so they wouldn't be missed later in the movie; for example, a knife is shown at the beginning that you KNOW will be found and used much later. A shortcoming, but in fact I didn't miss anything that way.

From Rotten Tomatoes where it got a mediocre 51%:


In 1997, writer-director Michael Haneke (CACHE) made the controversial Austrian thriller, FUNNY GAMES, about two young men who terrorize a family on vacation.

A decade later, Haneke was convinced by producer Chris Coen to bring the story to America, filming a nearly word-for-word, shot-for-shot English-language version, even re-creating the locations and sets as obsessively as possible.

Shortly after Ann (Naomi Watts), George (Tim Roth), and Georgie (Devon Gearhart) arrive in their country home, Peter (Brady Corbet), an eerily polite young man dressed all in white, including odd white gloves, appears on the doorstep, asking Ann if he can borrow some eggs for their neighbor.

Peter is joined by Paul (Michael Pitt), and the Leopold-and-Loeb-like duo are soon doing horrible things to Ann, George, and Georgie, torturing them both physically and psychologically (nearly all the violence occurs off-screen), for no apparent reason other than they can, referring to the whole thing as a game.

And the biggest game of all is whether the family will be alive at the end.

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