Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
The disabled ex-soldier Andreas Pum lost a leg for emperor and father land. After leaving the army he receives a license and a drehorgel. One day he gets into a controversy with a ... See full summary »
Thierry van Werveke
An unfinished film adapted from an unfinished novel
The scenes generally play out as they do in the novel, including the gaps from the novel, Haneke's view of Kafka's satirisation of bureaucracy. In 'Das Schloss' Kafka is at his usual absurd and pessimistic yet still very realistic idea of the world and the state. Themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parentchild conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, and mystical transformations. In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterised by what has been called the existential attitude, or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. This is the film of the unfinished novel. It expertly captures the abject, horrifyingly ridiculous, paranoia existentialist view of Kafka. A land surveyor named 'K' is invited to the Castle to do some work for a Count, but when he arrives at a Village where he finds that nobody is expecting him. K's attempts to get into the Castle are as unsuccessful as his attempt to settle into the local village. Greeted but not welcomed by a collective reluctance from the villagers, who with a systematic inefficiency prevent him from any prospects of even approaching the castle. The harder the stubborn K tries, the more he moves from his goals. You never see either the Count or indeed The Castle. The whole series of events is shot during winter with a grainy effect - possibly as a result of a TV transfer to DVD. The film was originally made for Austrian TV. The film ends as the book does - unfinished. The late Ulrich Mühe and Sussane Lothar are exceptional. With respect to perhaps Orson Welles, this film could not be made by mainstream Hollywood - they wouldn't know what to do with it! Although the film is certainly not for everyone, perhaps for Haneke fans only.
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