Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Review: Benny's Video

Benny's Video (1992)
Genre: Drama
Format: DVD
Director: Michael Haneke

In the past, I have only watched one of Haneke's works - the original Funny Games. As I eagerly await the DVD release of his U.S. remake of that masterpiece, I thought it is time that I start watching his other films. Benny's Video is his first feature film and it is easy to spot the roots of his obsessions with the relationship between film and reality.

The movie is about a disillusioned teenager who spends most of his time watching action movies and making his own home movies. His recent taping of a pig's slaughter leads to a very surprising and brutal crime and just when you think the movie has reached its bleakest point, you will be devastated by what happens to the already fragmented family Benny belongs to. The movie is rewarding in its moral subtext and its uncompromising view of family dynamics though it is narratively empty. Haneke is successful in capturing the nonchalance of realism with Benny's Video in both its ugliness and mundanity.

RATING: 3 out of 5

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