Saturday, August 2, 2014

MICHAEL (2011)

Written & Directed By: Markus Schleinzer 
Cinematography By: Gerald Kerkeletz 
Editor: Wolfgang Widerhofer 

Cast: Michael Fuith, Christine Kain, David Rauchenberger, Ursula Strauss

Five months in the life of a pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement --The director is obviously influenced by Michael Haneke who he has worked with as an Casting Director on Haneke's previous films.

Obviously this film is dark and disturbing, Though not exploitive. What is worse is that all the heinous actions are more hinted at then shown, Leaving it to our imaginations. Which will always go to the worst possible images and thoughts

Deep about and their acts are held off camera. Banality shown with darkly comedic results.

The similarity are noticeable as they both have takes of the unflinching eye, when it comes to presenting bleak material and scenes. Both are clinical and aren't afraid to get graphic, but also know when restraint is needed. They both have a habit of using long takes and barely moving the camera, only when it has to. Also lack of a musical score for most scenes

While Haneke is more of a master of his own style, This film feels more influenced yet not quite as mastered as I could be.

I warn most, if the subject of pedophilia bothers you deeply. Don't watch this film as it doesn't flinch when it comes to the subject.

The film doesn't offer any explination for pretty much anything. It leaves you to figure it out while giving you hints. Such as we get to see that Michael, Awkward around people and lonely. Which might be one of the reasons for his behavior and actions, yet he has a female admirer who he keeps rejecting. Though the film showcases loneliness and alienation to an extreme.

Anytime the film tries to show is any kind of sympathy for him. It reminds us exactly what he is, as well as what he is capable of, to never let us forget his true nature and the fact that we are stuck with him as our protagonist.

What makes us uncomfortable as audience members. We are witness to what is going on. Yet can't tell anyone. We are made to feel more like accomplices. Though we would like to think we are prisoners, but the whole time, As we are watching we are willing participants not saviors. The film is what we have, we have the power to turn it off and escape. Unfortunately the characters don't they are always there and this is their life.

It all leads up to a defining moment at the end. For which everything seems to hang in the balance.

By the end we are left with many questions that will never really answered.

Grade: A-

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