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A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
I saw this film last night and I found it very inspirational. I adore Haneke and the subject matter he chooses. For me this was completely gripping from the beginning. I loved the clarity of the scenes and the honest depiction of the various characters was chilling in parts. There is so much packed in this film I came away full of ideas. Two scenes stick in my head. The first is a scene at a kitchen table where a man tells a woman he loves her. I found it very realistic and its portrayal of this married couple was for me brutal but unflinching in its directness about the lives that we lead and the cages we build for ourselves. The second scene is an amazing shot of a character playing table tennis against an automatic opponent. It's a great shot. It's a shot that says so much. As it continues we as a viewer concentrate more on the character's face and what is written on it. Pain, anguish, fear and despair. A man so locked onto a path that he realises (perhaps in this scene) he is no longer able to return to normality. I waited for him to become exhausted but he never does and Haneke cuts the scene with him still playing, hoping perhaps the machine will break but not able to control what now controls him. As far as I know he may have gone on for hours more. A superb insight into a character's psyche encapsulated in one shot. A shocking ending rounds off a well constructed film that tries to explain why some of these events happen and does so in a thought-provoking way. There is never a dull moment in this film and I would recommend it to anyone as essential viewing. The film speaks for itself.
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