Not as shocking as I tought it was going to be but it is undoubtly a tough watch and I really admire how the movie can disturb you and create a very unsettling atmosphere without actually showing any explicit situation of pedophilia, an extremely uneasy and gruesome subject to begin with. The acting and the situations were subtle but actually pretty good, being the relationship of Michael with Wolfgang the main focus
i watched it in angst and it managed to get me real angry, to get me to hate michael, to hate pickles, to hate insurance workers, blinds, garage doors, bunk beds, basements, bald guys who go skying, not nosy enough austrians, etc. that's the explanation to why i only gave it 3 stars. which, in turns, makes it magnificent.
Despite the subject matter this movie is not as hard to stomach as I had feared. The director manages to make the horrific seem like everyday life and fills the commonplace with dread. Sure, some parts of the movie feel very stylized which almost overpowers the story. However, the austere performances and the glacial pacing works in favour of the movie, making it an uneasy watch.
La dificultad de representar el día a día de un pedófilo es una de las cuestiones que me acercaron a ver la pelicula. Pero ya sumido en la visión, pronto comprendí que tal dificultad en realidad nunca puede existir, porque la propia temática del film la repele: no hay forma alguna de representar la aberración si no es mediante el fuera de campo. Y en ese sentido, "Michael" es una pelicula fácil, obvia e innecesaria.
The banality of evil. Nobody does "real" horror like the Austrians: Haneke, Seidl and now Schleinzer. The most interesting part is that "Michae" is a funny movie. Not in a "Funny Games" sort of way. This is really a comedy slapstick, featuring moments of cartoon-like hilarity. Comic segments are in full view, while horror is mostly off screen. Which makes the viewing experience even more disturbing.
The part of 'Michael' most interesting to me was how Michael and the kid's relationship mirrored the relationship between an abusive parent and a child. In either case the child is so dependent on the abuser that a sort of Stockholm Syndrome sets in causing the child to feel an ambivalent mix of love and hate for the captor. People like Michael are scary, but I bet abusive parents are actually much more common.
Extremely engaging and uncomfortable study of the private life of a paedophile and the 10 year old boy held hostage inside his basement. The director chooses to stay impartial and act as an observer in the Haneke tradition. The audience is spared gory detail and instead left to contemplate things from the spaces between events thus focussing on the character relationship. 4 stars
The banality of evil... My heart would sink at the sight of those electric blinds slowly going down. But what depressed me the most was the “family routine” Michael and Wolgang seemed to have set into. Michael is not just about the mundane, it’s also rather gripping: the attempt of a second abduction, for example, was a scene of almost intolerable suspense.