Funny Games Reviews
Maybe it was because I had seen the original so knew where it was going, but the plot was slow. Direction was ponderous and listless.
Worst of all was the casting. Michael Pitt spells disaster for any movie he is in. Wooden, pretentious, irritating. Brady Corbet follows his lead. Naomi Watts does her usual over-acting. Tim Roth is a superb actor but had nothing to work with and deserves a lot better than this.
Funny Games is the story of a family being terrorised by two young men.
This film explores the craving and drive that young people have for control. Both men thrive off the fact that the family can't do anything to save themselves and places them into these little games that would further torture them emotionally. The two young men in this film is a symbol of the sick and unsympathetic mind of a director, they see this family as empty vessels that they could play and manipulate with in order to feed their psychological needs; they see it as art while the victims see it as relentless torment. The film does a great job of creating tension without having to use physical violence or gore, but instead crafting it through the use of dialogue, facial expression, and body language. There is very little substance in this film's plot that I could confidently say is unique, it spends very little time with its characters and instead places our attention with the film's style.
This film is most certainly stylish and immediately recalling my mind back to Fight Club. It approaches the film in ways that I wasn't expecting and for the most part I was happy with it, but there are a couple of times where it reaches a level of indulgence which took me aback and finding myself having to readjust to orient my mindset to what was happening; therefore distracting me from the film's tense atmosphere. Before coming into this, the only thing that I took with me in watching this was my awareness of some of Haneke's trademarks; quiet scenes, strong acting, sudden and shocking events, and near immobile photography. Those attributes are definitely present in this film but this film showed a side of Haneke I have yet seen, and proved to me that he is someone who would put his stamp on his films but would never let the experience of each of his films feel recycled.
The acting in this film was surprisingly great. I didn't expect top quality acting with a film like this, particularly due to its hollow characters, but Naomi Watts and Tim Roth really took their roles with such heart that their emotional pain could almost be touched. The two young men, Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet, also played their roles excellently, creating that sense of unpredictability and manipulation from their performance, not letting their characters come off too tight in their personalities; by that I mean they are not completely defined by a particular attribute and instead are delivered with multiple shades, making them feel human.
I have heard negative reviews of Funny Games and for that I could understand, but if one could just let themselves go and let the film takes you where it wants to take you then it wouldn't be such a disappointing experience. I have now seen three of his films, and each one so far has been impressive; I am very eager to see whether or not the rest of his films would prove to be just as impressive.
A lot of people have given the remake negative reviews, so I was kinda surprised that I was falling in love this film. The cinematography was amazingly beautiful, the cast were so fantastic that I felt their painful struggles (even the child actor), the atmosphere and tone were so strong that my heart was pounding at every corner, and the writing was groundbreaking. The one thing that the remake did way better than the original were the antagonists. They were much more sadistic and likable, like Alex from A Clockwork Orange. This masterpiece has earned a place as one of my favorite films. 10/10