Funny Games (1997 and 2007)

So you have movies that make you feel for the victim, like “The Girl Next Door” and “Irreversible.” You have films that make you relate to the victim, like “Death Wish” and “Revenge.” But what if there was a film that made you an accomplice to the crimes. That is “Funny Games.” There is no plot. Only the question posed, “How do you sit through this kind of film for entertainment purposes”? It is a great question. The director and writer are posing this question through two normal-looking dudes. Together they work in tandem and force you to become a player in their Funny Games.

Trust me. That is what the director Michael Hanke is doing with his film. Hanke has the characters break the fourth wall numerous times. The dialogue implicates you and invites you to be a willing participant in the violent acts committed onscreen. It is impressive when viewed in context. In 1997 this was pretty groundbreaking stuff. It is a movie that turns the film from being entertainment. Something else that is far from that. I turn itself into a critique of us, the viewer. And some very slow-paced and agonizing psychological torture for the family forced to play the funny games for and with us.

I can understand the issue people have with this film. But let me say this about the movie. The only thing that comes close to it is his almost shot-for-shot remake for American viewers back in 2007. The sequel made slight changes. But nothing that impacts the point of the film. Not like the remake of the Vanishing did when the same director remade it as this one was for American viewers. I prefer the original. However, it so so damn hard to find. So if you must, and I can’t believe I am saying this, this is more about Michael Hanke than me. But it is okay to watch the American version. It is the same movie as the
original. Nothing much is lost, in my opinion, except that it loses its uniqueness and becomes a vehicle for Naomi Watts and Tim Roth. But a small price to pay to see a great film if you cannot see the original. Just watch this film. Please!!!!

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Author: Wil Munny

I hope you have not seen any film that I discuss. It is better that way.

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