One of those self-consciously intellectual movies that never comes close to realizing its lofty aims and winds up wallowing in pretentiousness. Dialogue designed to be heavily freighted with 'meaning' manages to be nothing more than dull and scrappy. A plot intended to keep us on the edge of our seats and titillate our minds is hopelessly contrived when it isn't just confused. Acting is mediocre. An interview with director Haneke in the extras manages to irritate even more as he puffs himself up with his cleverness and talks about America cinema in a smugly condescending manner. Yes, mainstream American cinema is full of trash, as is mainstream cinema of every country. But if you're going to try to create cinematic art, try to remember that great art conceals itself, it doesn't blow its own trumpet.
I love Haneke's films, but hesitate recommending them because they are very demanding. Cache, especially, demands that you spend most of the movie not knowing what's happening, just like the main characters. You're not only watching someone unravel a mystery; you yourself are there, almost physically, unraveling it. In addition, the ending has no great catharsis or climax; it is just sad and inescapable. To sum up, this is a great film, but it's not for viewers who need plot points spelled out, or at least wrapped up by the end.
This is no easy tale. Though it looks easy in the beginning the film becomes more disturbing than viewer expects; director Michael Haneke explains why in a brilliant interview; he also points out that many cinema lovers prefer resolved endings not unresolved ones, but then, some people prefer modern art and others traditional. The movie was so cool on the surface but turned out to be agonizing, with out offending anyone,
A great movie. I remember when I first saw this and I was amazed by it. This is a mystery from France.
Nicely filmed movie. Plot was a bit obscure, but you get the picture, vaguely about 10 min. in. Acting was very good. One scene was a shocker - not for kids or the faint at heart.
Not a very moving picture.
Lousy, confusing movie. I was disappointed. I like Daniel Auteuil though.
With so many critics rushing to say how brilliant and brainy this film is I had expected something I could get my teeth into. Well, in one way I suppose I got just that because this picture is like eating taffy: lots of chewing, little nutrition. Other than the appearance of an upper middle class life-style, there is little information given about the character of Georges and Anne Laurent and their relationship. Nothing is given that would plausibly drive the intended story. They were so flat that I suspect we are to read them as symbols of that stratum of French society. Even so, the so-called guilt of Georges seems to me to be more of a plot convenience than real human feelings. And, yes, I see what’s going in the final shot but, while that tells me whodunit this ain’t exactly Hercule Poirot, and I have long since given up caring about this couple as people or, if you prefer, as symbols on the ridiculous path of this moralistic fable. Suffice to say Haneke is not Hitchcock.
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