It is easier when things are polite

Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

This weekend I saw a very good but quite disturbing movie called Funny Games.

Being a fan of gore, psychological thrillers and good and bad horror movies, I didn’t think much of this one based on the description.

The movie starts with the Farber family going to their lake house. Ann Farber (Naomi Watts) starts making dinner while her husband, George (Tim Roth), and son, Georgie (Devon Gearhart), set up the sailboat.

A “friend” of the neighbors named Peter (Brady Corbet) comes to the door and asks for some eggs. A short time later Paul (Michael Pitt), also a “friend” of the neighbors, joins Peter inside the Farber house.

After a brawl about rudeness, Peter and Paul tell the family they want to make a bet. They bet the Farbers won’t be alive in 12 hours. Then the games begin.

Throughout the movie, four games are played. During each game Paul and Peter change names.

One thing about this movie is it feels real. Each scene feels like it is in real time. Things like silence in a room are drawn out and there is hardly any music or background sound.

Some interesting factoids about the movie concern the director, Michael Haneke. Haneke is an Austrian filmmaker and writer “best known for his bleak and disturbing style”. He first filmed this movie in 1997 in Germany under the same title. The U.S. version is a shot- for- shot remake that he translated and directed. The only difference is the actors and the way they portray the character (even the music is the same in both films).

Another interesting thing about this film is that it does not show violence. It heavily implies violence however.

Also, Paul breaks the fourth wall by commenting to the audience about what is happening. He states that the audience “wants an ending with plausible plot development” and “you’re on their side aren’t you?”

There is also a point where Paul takes out a television remote control and rewinds part of the film. I believe this is to show that Paul is in ultimate control over the situation.

Although this is a PG version of the movie, I don’t want to give anything away. Even though the movie disturbed me, I believe it was in a good way. This showed me that there are filmmakers out there who don’t want to “give the people what they want”. This film truly moves a person and forces them to go into that uncomfortable zone.

Remember, “It’s easier when things are polite.”