A Random Blog of Everything I like
First of all, Happy 3rd Blogoversary to Inspired Ground 🙂 Thank you so much for taking me along for the celebration, if not for Andina (the owner of Inspired Ground) I would never have discovered this amazing movie. Andina treated us with movie at PIX Viewing Room (a room for hire simply to watch movies)
We picked the movie randomly because it looked interesting. The first movie we watched together was The Third Man (1949) but the DVD got stuck almost at the end, they (PIX) gave us another chance to see a movie for free. We picked Funny Games. Andina has reviewed it before me> here.
Funny Games was directed by Michael Haneke, it is about two sick young men holding a family hostage and torturing them in the simplest and yet meanest way. It’s a case of family holiday turns hellish.
Georg (Ulrich Mühe), his wife Anna (Sussane Lothar), their son Georgie (Stefan Clapczynski) and their dog arrived at their lake house. Before they reached their house, they shouted at their neighbor asking for help with their boat. I can straight away see that the neighbor looked a bit odd. Before they began unpacking, their neighbor, Fred came with a young man named Paul (Arno Frisch). Paul was dressed in an unusual way, we wore short but he also wore a pair of white gloves.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen Anna was preparing meal for her family. Out of nowhere came Peter (Frank Giering), he wanted to borrow some eggs. He told Anna that he lived with their neighbor. This was when all the weird things began! Peter dropped the eggs and asked for more. He also accidentally dropped Anna’s mobile phone to the sink. Anna became more annoyed when Paul came to aid Peter.
Anna’s annoyance finally reached its boiling point and told her husband to get rid of those two young men. What happened next was a series of sick mind games. Paul hit Goerg’s leg and made him crippled. He gathered the whole family in their living room and they began to torture the poor family both mind and physically.
What’s so interesting about Funny games is the way Haneke creates the atmosphere. The absent of background music makes this psychological thriller feels closer to reality. Even though there is no real violence in the movie but it scares the living sh*t out of me. The whole movie is really annoying and yet very addictive. It forces us to look at the screen unblinking.
I would like to give 4 thumbs up (including my foot thumb) to Arno Frisch. His acting as Paul is brilliant. All he does through the movie is talking nicely to the family…nice but deathly. His words are like poison coated with charming smile. The way he casually talks to the family as if killing human being is no different to killing vermin is really scary. Throughout the movie I couldn’t stop saying my God this man is really annoying! His innocent look is much scarier than all the full of hatred psycho I have ever seen. Frank Giering isn’t bad but Frisch totally outshines him.
The other cast I admired is Sussane Lothar as Anna. She is scared but she tries her best to look tough…tough in despair. Look at the image on the right! See how Naomi Watts (from the 2007 remake) looks overreact with the pathetic crying face while Lothar looks tough. The way she changes from cheerful housewife ready to have a nice vacation to an annoyed woman and then to a woman in despair without showing her weak emotion is brilliant.
And then there’s the script! Oh how I wish I can read the script. When I was watching it, I couldn’t stop thinking I wish I had written that dialogue. Such brilliant dialogue!!
Funny Games also crosses the boundary of reality and imagination. Paul, and only Paul, often interacts with the audience like smirking or and talk to us. I think it’s a great addition to the movie, however one particular part of this interchange made me unable to give the movie full rating. If that scene (if you have watched it, I am sure you know which scene) is deleted, I think it would make Funny Games a perfect psychological thriller.
Funny thing is, Haneke states that the entire film was not intended to be a horror film. He says he wanted to make a message about violence in the media by making an incredibly violent, but otherwise pointless movie. He had written a short essay revealing how he felt on the issue, called “Violence + Media.” …funny because I think the movie is one of the most violence movie I have ever seen even though physical torture is rarely seen.