Monday, September 6, 2010

Cache (2005)

Award winning director and Christopher Lee lookalike Michael Haneke (pronounced like the Hanukkah) came to my grad school while I was a student there. In preparation for his visit, we watched the original version of his film Funny Games (unfortunately for the world, there is a shot-for-shot English language remake done by Haneke himself). 108 minutes later, my entire MFA class wanted to run screaming through a plate glass window. Funny Games is intentionally mean spirited and manipulative. It's a commentary saying "Hey! You're a dumb member of the public!" It's terrible. So, since then, despite the glowing reputation Haneke has in the rest of the world and despite his film The White Ribbon being nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars this past year, I've avoided his stuff like Swine Flu.

However, Cache had been sitting in my Netflix queue for ages. Due to my forgetfulness, Cache made it to the top of the queue and ended up in my mailbox. Thus, it had to be watched.

Happily, Cache was nothing like Funny Games. It had its foreign art house tendencies - super long shots, some naturalistic disengaged dialogue, vague insinuations about what's really going on, and no true conclusion. But the plot was engaging and I felt like I was seeing a part of the world I don't know. I know next to nothing about French/Algerian relations. This movie got me interested. And Juliette Binoche is one of the best actresses on the planet. I always enjoy seeing her.

The movie has a mystery type plot. A somewhat bored suburban family starts receiving tapes indicating that they're under surveillance. Eventually, drawings (like the one above) are included that pique the families suspicions about who is behind it all. It's hard to know who is in the right, whose side we should be on, and who, if anyone, is to blame for everything that transpires. It's interesting. It's defiantly worth seeing. I only wish Cache was the film they chose to show us before Mr. Haneke's visit. I wouldn't have had to waste my time shooting daggers at the man who had ruined 108 minutes of my life. See Cache. Run far far away from Funny Games.

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