Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Funny Games Review

Overall Grade: B

Funny Games is a very interesting film. Its one of the best examples of a film where a director goes all out to support what he wants to say. Clearly the director is not satisfied in giving us just an entertaining story, the sole reason for the story is that it can be a vehicle for him to comment on society and how we view “entertainment”.

The story itself is fairly simple; Tim Roth and Naomi Watts play an upper middle class couple that travel with their son to their vacation home on a lake. Once there, they are visited by two young men dressed in white polo’s and white gloves (one of them played excellently by Michael Pitt), who initially seem harmless, but ultimately injure the father and force the entire family to begin play a game. The game is simple, the family bets they can survive for 12 hours and the boys bet they will be dead. The rest is simply the premise playing itself out.

What makes the film interesting is not how the rest of the plot plays out, but how the director decides to show it to us. Several times he makes some great decisions to either turn upside our pre-conceptions, or to obviously (with a wink) feed us what we think will happen. I don’t want to give away some of the tricks the movie uses, but it really forces the viewer to examine why this kind of story can be entertaining, as well as the motive of the viewer; and I really like that about it.

For example, the director at times will use long extended takes where the camera does nothing but sit and watch our captive family. It’s a brutal experience for the audience to be forced to watch this family go through this horror, but the extended takes actually began to make me squirm and feel very awkward; something the director wanted me to do, rather than the emotions of shock and awe or pleasure that a typical horror film might go for.

It’s a smart and bold film, but it’s not for everyone. Although much of the violence is off screen and there is no nudity to speak of (purposefully), it is still a very intense view and I recommend it only to those interested in films that like to present arguments and commentary. The film has a few faults, but its clear-minded vision and audacious boldness makes up for it in the end.

Some of you might not have heard of this film before, so I've included a trailer to check out below

1 comments:

luvmegabytes said...

I couldn't agree with you more on your take with this movie.

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