Das Schlo▀ (The Castle) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Das Schlo▀ (The Castle) Reviews

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½ September 3, 2010
I loved this film. It's so perfectly bizarre, and the fact that it's unfinished and just cuts off in the middle of a scene is just perfect. Ulrich Muhe is fantastic as the extremely confused protagonist. My favorite scene is where K. goes to find some answers from a government official and they try to find a document in an armoire literally full of papers. And they aren't in files or boxes or anything, just in a gigantic stack. It's just great.
September 3, 2010
i dunno how to appreciate
½ September 3, 2010
I just couldn't get it...is it really that difficult to understand the whole thing?
September 3, 2010
I like the stuff of Franz Kafka.. it's very interesting. the narrative is good. Seems like reading a book.
September 3, 2010
Aside from a few touches, this doesn't really feel like a Haneke film. It's a competently made film, but not the sort of challenging work I've come to expect from this director.
September 3, 2010
"I would draw a definite line between "The Castle" and "The Piano Teacher," because "The Castle" was made for television, and I'm very clear about the distinction between a TV version and a movie. Films for TV have to be much closer to the book, mainly because the objective with a TV movie that translates literature is to get the audience, after seeing this version, to pick up the book and read it themselves. My attitude is that TV can never really be any form of art, because it serves audience expectations. I would not have dared to turn "The Castle" into a movie for the big screen; on TV, it's OK, because it has different objectives" - Michael Haneke

I've grown to love Haneke, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish this one. I made it thirty minutes in and maybe one day I'll revisit it with optimism. But I was really, really underwhelmed. But mostly disappointed.
½ September 3, 2010
Haneke's adaptation of Kafka's novel. It portrayed the hopeless struggle of K against the elusive authority extremely well. While the style is distinct from other films of the said directors, the actors and compositions gave clues.
This adaptation kept true to the novel in a sense that the editorial add-on was not included, so the film, like Kafka's version, was unfinished. The cold grittiness of Kafka's world was illustrated with intense snowstorm shots and stoic furnishings. A successful film in how it achieved the bureaucratic obscurity (potent Kafka theme) but due to its incomplete nature, I cannot accurate rate this.
September 3, 2010
If anyone has read my other reviews for Michael Haneke's films, they will see my near endless praise for how much of an original director he is. This film, however, is a work of adaptation. A made-for-German-television re-telling of Franz Kafka's incomplete work "The Castle." Regardless of the way this was done, it is obvious why Haneke would want to do such a film as Haneke and Kafka share very similar approaches to their work, only one puts it on paper and the other puts it on screen. Yet, although this is a really well-done film, it just did not feel like Haneke. It has Kafka still written all over it. Maybe this was Haneke's vision all along. maybe it is the definition of a true adaptation. Who knows?

Made in the same year as Haneke's seminal Funny Games (1997), Haneke dropped the brutal side of humanity for the more confusing world of Kafka. Telling the story of a newly appointed Landscape Surveyor (Ulrich M├╝he) who tries to get to the bottom of a small village's disdain towards simplicity and solve the mystery of The Castle, an unknown structure that seems to hold all law and order over the town. The Surveyor is not alone in his work, he is accompanied by two Twiddle-dee and Twiddle-dum assistants who prove do be more of a task to escape from than anything, a barmaid with serious emotional issues (a Haneke staple), and a colorful cast of weirdo locals. The Surveyor goes from house to house, trying to make his living in the most confusing of towns. Think of it as Twin Peaks without the murder mystery, soap opera tone, and funky dreams.

Although it did not have any real correlation to Haneke's favorite topic of discussion, the media, Haneke trades this for human interaction. Although the use of technology is highly limited in this village, everyone seems to know what each other is doing, as if everyone's lives were creepily intertwined with each other. Haneke still does employ the long static takes in this film, although there are quite a few nice long tracking shots through the snowy landscape of this village. The locales are beautiful and rustic, less is more considering that the main character's sole purpose in the story is to survey the land, yet he winds up not doing any of this. The characters are very well-played, featuring Haneke regulars Ulrich M├╝he and Susanna Lothar, who reprise their Funny Games roles as a couple. It also features Frank Giering who played the silently brutal "Peter" in Funny Games, substituting his disturbing qualities for comical incompetence. Along with a few other actors from Haneke's previous works, the cast is great.

The length of this film passes two hours, which is interesting considering Kafka's novel was never finished (the book itself ends in mid-sentence), but Haneke's way of depicting this highly ambiguous ending is quite masterful. The plot seems to have some sort of resolution, but leaves you wanting more, however, it is tragically cut short and left all a mystery, exactly like the novel. This is achieved through great use of narration, where the unseen narrator will describe what we are seeing as if the film was the book itself, sometimes even talking over the characters' dialogue, giving it authentic feel.

Although it was not an original Haneke story, his approach towards Kafka's story is well-done, yet this is probably his most overlooked film due to the fact that it is not his own.
September 3, 2010
I really liked the movie and it would be a hard one to adapt. The book was so bizarre and so funny. Not hilarious kind of funny. More like satire and absurdity that becomes sinister. I loved the book. Kafka basically invented the surreal novel. Many people would find this movie boring. It's slow and because of the subject matter, people have complained that it just goes in circles. Of course it does, that's the point of the story.
September 3, 2010
"The Castle" is an interesting and faithful adaptation, but director Michael Haneke's detached style is at odds with Franz Kafka's story of escalating paranoia and absurdity.
September 3, 2010
Boring monotony. This is based on a Franz Kafka novel, and for all intensive purposes, it doesn't translate well into film. It's about this guy, K. (played by Ulrich M├╝he) who is a surveyor summoned to a castle. Due to a mix-up, it turns out that he wasn't needed at all. He meets a barmaid named Frieda, who he takes as his fianc├ęe. Other than that, the entire movie revolves around K. trying to find a castle official named Klamm to discuss the miscommunication. It's just tedious conversation after tedious conversation that you really can't care less about (I had to take two breaks just to get through it). And just where it starts to get good, it ends, because that is where Kafka's incomplete manuscript ends. This really doesn't feel like a Haneke film, other than that it has lots of black outs and slow pacing. I have now seen Michael Haneke's entire filmography, and this is easily my least favorite.
September 3, 2010
Perhaps of the influence of Kafka, I didnt find much of Haneke's from the movie. As an incomplete legend, personally thought it's not the material on the screen. Ulrich Muhe played well, perfect match with Susanne Lothar.
August 20, 2010
If anybody was familiar with Kafka's work in fragmentation they would realize this is an absolute perfect rendering of Kafka's Story. In the hands of Michael Haneke the non-psychological style fits perfectly with that of Kafka's story. Since most of Kafka's stories have a non-psychological stylization; with this movie Haneke has found his niche.
Super Reviewer
½ May 18, 2010
This Movie From Kino Video was part of the Toronto International Film Festival, Its a strange movie as many are from Kino Video. A man is hired to survey the castle but is given the run around and not allowed on Castle grounds. I for one found it boring and senseless. But worth more then 1 star so I gave it 1 1/2 stars. Don't waste your time like I did.
January 4, 2010
Haneke has made a career of teasing and tormenting his audience. Here he makes us suffer through an excruciating 123 minutes of utter boredom and then, true to Kafka's manuscript, just ends the film smack dab in the middle of a scene. And rather than be mad at him or say "this was the stupidest film ever made!" we just laugh and cry "Oh Michael Haneke, you old dog!" For no one else, sir...
½ January 4, 2010
The film did a great job of creating atmosphere and there were, of course, some very beautifully framed shots, but instead of Haneke's typical mastering of suspense, this one just felt... too Kafkaesque.
½ September 2, 2009
Michael Hanake has made some great films, Funny Games for example, He won the Palm d'Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for The White Ribbon, and while he may be a very good director, he has made some truely bad films, The Castle, for example. the film takes place in a small german village were a castle stands, and a land survayer thinks he was hired by a guy who nobody can come in contanct with, and then the guy who might be a land survayer, decides not to do what he might of been hired to do, but to persue a woman instead, and then the movie abruptly ends in the middle of a sentacne. this terrible, but slightly surreal vision of Franz Kafka was never finnished, therefore the film ends right before an important part. i hated it, nothing happend, it was terrible.
August 5, 2009
just a fine adaptation of a brilliant book. With Haneke behind the camera it should've been much more.
May 27, 2009
Kafka should not be made into movies. Done.
April 7, 2009
pretty decent adaptation. A little of the humor seems to get lost in translation, but this is really faithful to the novel (as far as i can tell the only change is to include flashlights, which, given the setting, only add to the emotional effect the movie has). The editing is also quite interesting and effective: there's about a second of black between each cut. If you enjoy the novel, i recommend this, but this definitely isnt everyone's cup of tea.
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