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Funny Games
Overall Rating
1.8Overall Score

Funny Games Movie Review CoverAustria, 1997
Directed By: Michael Haneke
Written By: Michael Haneke
Starring: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering
Running Time: 108 minutes
Not Rated





Movie Review

Funny Games is, as many people will tell you, a commentary on film and a criticism of audience expectations. And, while it is made well enough, and it does get the message across, is this mish-mash of social commentary, artsy cinematography, and self-aware horror enough of what it wants to be to make it worth experiencing?

Micheal Hanake does a lot of things in this film. There are shocks, twists, turns, and all kinds of recurring themes. One of the things that this film does do well is push the audience to make emotional connections. It’s difficult to think of this film without being tainted by my emotional experience watching it. This is probably what was intended, but it makes it difficult to appreciate the film based on its own merits.

And it does have its own merits. There are parts of this scene that are incredibly well done. There is a golf ball with an evil roll, a gate that gets a double meaning, and white gloves that are always sinister, even before you know quite why they should be. It really does manage to make the viewer uncomfortable, even without showing anything particularly graphic. It does encourage one to think about what they are watching.

On the other hand, it’s often much too self-aware and smirking as it shows you what it wants you to see. 10 minutes of lingering camera on nothing happening in a room, looking into the camera and winking, asking if we would like to see more – no, really, that actually happens. It isn’t even the worst example, but I dare not give away the ending.

Also, and it’s sad that I almost forgot to mention this, but I suppose it bears mention: This film is quite depraved, and it will probably make anyone of high moral fiber sick just to hear in the next room. I usually enjoy a well made movie, no matter how offensive the content is, and this movie tries really hard to be exactly that, but I can’t help but feeling like there is still something left wanting. There are twists that make no sense except as commentary, and ultimately, what Micheal has to say gets muddled up in how hard the movie tries to say it.

If you liked the remake, you’ll doubtlessly enjoy this one as well, particularly considering it’s the same film. And if you didn’t, there’s nothing new for you to see here.

Movie Trailer




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