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Jumat, 30 Mei 2008

Funny Games (2008)

Film Reviews. Michael Haneke has been tormenting art-house audiences for years, but the recent success of Hidden has allowed him a chance to test his confrontational thrillers on the masses. The result is this English language remake of his 1997 anti-exploitation film Funny Games, complete with an A-list cast and major studio backing. Although the film's ideas remain as strong as they were first time around, Funny Games is probably too disorienting and disturbing to gain the word-of-mouth approval necessary for mainstream acceptance.

Naomi Watts and Tim Roth play the comfortable couple whose yachting holiday is interrupted by Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbet), two young nihilists on a sadistic mission to destroy the family's smug sense of security. The intruders' sinister and excruciating mind games eventually develop into a gruelling spree of humiliation and degradation. But Peter and Paul aren't the only ones playing games, as Haneke has his own tricks to play: characters address the audience directly, scenes are 'rewound' in front of us and key moments of violence take place off-screen. Haneke's intention is to awaken his audience to the irresponsible power of mainstream cinema by jolting us out of our complicit, media-induced stupefaction.

While the original film toyed with oMempublikasikan Postingur expectations of genre convention, this one makes us examine our assumptions about actors. It's fascinating to watch Tim Roth and Naomi Watts debase themselves so thoroughly and unexpectedly, but their familiarity also lessens the unsettling, alien atmosphere that the first film achieved. It's unlikely that Funny Games will prompt the mass rejection of commoditised violence that Haneke ultimately desires, but you get the feeling he'll be satisfied just to have terrorised a few wandering multiplex innocents.

Funny Games is out in the UK on 4th April 2008.

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