Helplessness can be so frightening! Also, having alternative endings in the same film deserves some kind of award. Even the viewer seems so helpless, especially after realising that the killers can control time! When a movie has so much death metal, it’s sure to be fucked up.
4.5/5 - A profoundly disturbing display of cinematic torture that managed to have me under its sadistic spell throughout. And yet, Hanake shows a ridiculous level of restraint in his direction, holding the easy gratuity of violence at bay, never allowing any sort of mechanical cheepness to get in the way of the psychological dread that's constantly being pushed inside the character's minds (or the audience's).
I have the sense that this film is about how colonial mechanisms operate and its inherent power relations...these men enter the space of 'others' in a sneaky way, and somehow, the 'others' do not manage to get them out. There is a moment where one of the 2 men argues that the 'others' can speak about what they think, but the 'others' cannot really speak, they have been numbed. And then the religious references.
1.9 stars. Maybe if I didn't take myself so serious I'd be okay with feeling sneered at - that's on me. But thinking he had anything profound to left say about media violence after 'Benny's Video' - that's on Michael Haneke. It's anchored by some chilling performances from the lead and has that infamous moment of clever manipulation, but if I want to watch a film made by someone who hates me, I'll choose 'Weekend'!
As always, Michael Haneke indulges in sadism, all for the sake of a didactic message. No amount of mean-spirited narrative tricks and stern moralizing, however, can guise the hypocrisy festering underneath: he "critiques" (I use this word liberally) the immorality of horror films, yet takes immense pleasure in the physical and psychological torture of his characters. What solipsism this film reveals...
Si le jeu est un vice, il est employé ici au superlatif. Et avec la participation du spectateur, s'il vous plaît ! Quant au metteur en scène, il s'octroie la possibilité de rembobiner la pellicule pour changer le destin de ces malheureux otages. Hélas, pas de chance pour nous, il se ravise... Malgré tout ces tours de prestidigitation, ce n'est pas le film le plus saisissant d'Haneke.
I'm appalled at how much I admire this film. It's somehow simultaneously a ½ movie (just relentlessly cruel and pointless) and a 5-star movie because of how ballsy and successfully it pulls off its goals (and with a big wink at the audience it's supposedly berating.) “Don’t forget the entertainment value. We’d all be deprived of our pleasure.”
Let me just say: Haneke must be a blast at parties....an evisceration of our culture of cruelty, power plays, and insatiable appetite for violent images, somewhat redundantly remade for american audiences...a potent image: the blood on the OUTSIDE of the television....
Gratuitous violence. That's what this film is. I don't care about the breaking the fourth wall thing, making the viewer question the presentation of violence in the media, or whatever intellectual justification might be concocted for it. The only merit of this film (if you can call it that) is its ability to make you sick as you're watching it. I wish I hadn't.