I liked it. Unfortunately, I saw the remake first, and when I attempted to go back and see the original afterward, it felt like a remake. I didn’t read a whole lot about the film before watching it, mostly the comments about Funny Games being a commentary on the nature of violence portrayed in modern media.
I am a deeply compassionate person, perhaps I’ll start there. However, I do have deep, dark, aggressive tendencies like other people do at times. I caught myself getting TOO into the action sometimes: I surprised myself by my enjoyment of the film. For instance, when Naomi Watts is being tortured and is told to take off her clothes when her son has a pillowcase over his head, I found myself wanting to see her breasts, despite the horrible circumstance. My primal sexual impulse superseded my compassionate side.
I don’t think it was Haneke’s intention, but I didn’t end up hating the level of in-your-face sadistic, implied violence, I actually enjoyed it; I consumed it like an animal. The film seems to exist on a separate plane. By choosing to have Michael Pitt address the camera those few times, the film became a game. So, for the duration, I let my evil inclinations and impulses run wild and revel in the violence. That’s not to say I wasn’t turned off by some of the cruelty, I was, but in the end my aggressive side won over my compassion…
I learned something about myself watching this.