Sunday, March 30, 2008

Funny Games

Okay, so I went to go see this movie tonight called Funny Games. This was one of the most sadistic, psycho, and warped movies that I have ever seen. However, I rather enjoyed it. Here's why.

The overall movie premise is simple. Family goes on vacation, family is introduced to two boys, said two boys mess with and kill family. While that storyline in itself is nothing to gawk at, the way that this film plays out is. The realistic nature of what happens is scary at times. All of the actors did an amazing job depicting real fear and real lack of compassion that each of them would feel. The way that things pan out, like Naomi Watts hiding behind a tree at the sight of a car, was exactly what I would have done in that situation. Also, the movie is self aware in a way. The main character Peter talks to the audience several times and makes reference to the fact that we, as the audience, want to see a plausible outcome, good plot and such. There is also a conversation near the end of the movie where they are actually discussing whether or not the fact that we just sat and watched the movie makes what happened on the screen real. Very bizarre film.

The fact that this sort of thing could actually happen in real life was the thing that messed me up the most about this movie. I read a few reviews of Funny Games before going and seeing it and something I saw in several was that they were concerned about people that would copy what they saw. I somewhat agree with that fear. While the relative ease with which they pull off this heinous act is not so plausible in the real world, the lack of compassion for any life is sadly real. There are people out there who could do exactly what this film is showing and feel casual about doing so.

Overall throughout the movie I did feel a bit queasy and angry, but I also laughed. Honestly it isn't called "Funny" Games without cause. The banter between Paul and Peter is humorous at times. The games part refers to the bet that they make with the family at the beginning... "We bet that you won't be alive in twelve hours and you bet that you will." And I agree that it is not a funny game.

If you go into this movie knowing what is generally going to happen, and expect that to happen, this is a decent film. If you have ever walked out of a film, any film, don't see this. I can't tell you how many reviews I read where the person said that they walked out of the movie because of the sadistic nature of what they saw. Actually there were only two, but then again I only read about ten reviews. I wouldn't consciously recommend this film to anyone unless they have a real appreciation for direction and cinematography and can stomach watching what is basically torture for about an hour or so. In my opinion this was an great film that was led by excellent direction and played out by superb acting.