One of the most polarizing films that I have ever seen, that doesn’t show anything.
Anna (Naomi Watts) and George (Tim Roth) are enjoying a vacation with their son when two sadistic young men (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) break into their cabin and hold the family hostage. The psychotic duo plays twisted games with their prisoners, forcing them to comply to stay alive.
This film is a remake from the same director Michael Haneke, who made the first one. With this remake he has changed the language to English, and all American actors, but its the same shot-for-shot film.
The fact that the film is the way it is makes it really creepy and suspenseful. you never really at all see the mutilation and action instead sometimes you just hear it, or walk in upon the aftermath of it. The film is directed so finely because it takes a lot for a viewer to get into this film. There are long takes, and camera angles that will actually piss the viewer off, and a slow-pace that only adds more and more to the suspense.
Many times in this film I was just on the edge of my seat, because how these nut jobs torture this family psychologically, and physically makes you hope for this family to get out alive. There is no score music at all so it basically is telling you what you should think of these scenes. The writing is top-notched because it brings up some interesting themes about how the media uses violence to its advantage. With the use of very minimal shown violence Haneke shows that he knows what he is trying to say. Movies like Saw, adn Hostel show violence like its no big deal, but with this there is none cause for these two it isn’t a big deal.
The film is also highly brilliant in its way of delivering its story. The film is almost a self-parody because there are just plenty of times where the film is telling you what its going to do next, and the thing is that, it works. You think what should happen, is going to happen and it doesn’t cause you don’t know what these kids are doing. Not only are they messing with this famil’ys mind, but also yours. The film breaks the fourth wall on countless occasions and gives you this sense of reality and fiction, and you don’t know what their going to do even though tell you what they are going to do. In case, your all confused this is all good stuff.
The one problem I had with this film was that by the end something happens, and I don’t want to say it to give it away, but I think it was incredibly stupid. It sort of took my mind off the power that this film had within me, but I didn’t destroy my thoughts on the film, I just felt it was stupid.
The acting right here is what sets the bar for this film. Roth and Watts are very believable as the couple in dread, and many times you can just see them boiling up and ready to explode from all of this torture. But the really great performances come from Pitt and Corbet, who are freaking creepy every time their on-screen. Pitt is the creepiest and has the strongest performance cause he actually shows that you can be crazy and relentless, without giving too much energy away in a performance.
Consensus: Funny Games pushes boundaries against the conventional thriller and violence in media, with stunning performances, terrific writing, and so much suspense mixed with the creative direction from Haneke.