I’m a closet masochistic, so I find my evenings are better spent with a good flogging (‘Passion of the Christ’ style) and some main-stream torture porn (Saw/Hostel style). So, here I was sitting with my pants around ankles and nipple clamps ready to go watching director Michael Haneke’s ‘Funny Games’, expecting unbridled violence and I end up in film school being preached at over the evils of media violence.
But, I’m not bitter over this art-house bait-and-switch technique; Haneke is notorious for fucking with his audiences, not giving superficial solutions to complex problems. Just watch his far superior ‘Cache’, or the jerk off worthy ‘The Piano Teacher’-I’m Canadian, so I love perversion. The problem I have with ‘Funny Games’ is that I get it, the movie centers around North American’s fascination with violence in all forms of media, and that’s all it offered me.
I empathize with the family being victimized, I wished horrible things on the two courteous psychopaths, I even understood the surrealism through the camera work and how the story plays against convention. I was enjoying this movie until I got bored. Not allowing the viewer to see the graphic violence we come to except made scents when you consider the message being hit over our heads in every scene, that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy watching this brand of social satire playing out over and over again, like a joke that’s no longer funny.
The movie had me, and then it lost me through tedium of watching fictional character being brutalized over and over, then it forced me to burn myself with cigarettes for a much more pleasing experience. Which I think is more of a commentary on me, product of too many hours spent with toxic media violence. The movie is tedious, can come off as pretentious, left me totally flaccid, and its message could have been condensed into a great short film.