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Michael (2011/II)
9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
an insurance clerk holds a ten year old boy captive in his basement, 4 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This made me feel very uncomfortable at times but I was riveted until the final credits.

The most disturbing thing about it is how the film seems to be able to make me as a viewer come close to identifying with this monstrous person. I think it does this by creating a cold and distant, even sterile production, with undramatic and bland lighting, detailed sound and repressed, understated acting. By the time we get to that truly awful funeral service everything is so hollow, that the realistic look of the film is actually more like a nightmare and it's almost like looking at the worst kind of pornography.

And that irritatingly sunny version of "Sunny" (shouldn't it be "Sonny" as in Sonny and Cher?) is still going round in my head.

I also wonder if it's a coincidence that the title is "Michael" when it looks so much like a Michael Haneke film?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The story of a man on the run from the army who falls in with strange and dangerous people at the port where he intends to sail away to anew life, 17 May 2012

My favourite line in this lovely, lyrical film is when the creepy Zabel says to our handsome and virile hero "I know why you came here (i.e. to the port). You came here for the ships" thus exposing the hero's secret. And I thought: "Of course, that's why we all come here (i.e. to the cinema), for those ships that are preparing to sail to Venezuela" We never get to Venezuela and neither does our doomed hero but that's not why we're here.

Our hero, at first, is wrapped in the worsted wool of an army uniform and when he meets the beautiful heroine she is enclosed in a shiny, weather repellent coat. They both loose these carapaces in favour of more roomy, more approachable outfits that allow them to display themselves and slowly, as the film progresses, become vulnerable and aware of their tragic fates.

We never see the beautiful Nelly's murdered lover, the only indication of his appearance is a cuff link, found under the stairs in the wine cellar.

And the kindest and wisest man in the film has a hat that he got in Panama, somewhere we'll probably never get to either. It makes me think that the people who made the film are the Panama hat, lying in the foggy shadows somewhere out there on the edge of the quay.