Directed by Michael Haneke
This film is a criticism of society’s consumption of violence. It is also a shot for shot remake of an Austrian film by the same title. (Which, considering its box office reception, is sort of hilarious. Why not just show the original?) While the acting is amazing and I agree with the idea that film/television/video games are violent because we buy them that way, it is extremely disturbing and is only successful as film theory food. Cinema as masochism is a nonstarter because the conversations it starts are usually fleeting and carried out over something ordered from the value menu at McDonald’s. I am pretty sure every time you eat at McDonald’s someone in the developing world contracts a terminal illness or debilitating condition as a direct result of your purchase. In addition to serving as a high minded cinema badge for filmmakers and cinephiles, It also succeeds by not being Horton Hears A Who, or College Road Trip.
It really is a well made, thought provoking film. A penchant for self flagellation is a prerequisite.