A woman gets undressed (no nudity is shown)
some Non graphic and brief references
A woman is shown changing her clothes, she has a lace bra on and the nipples are clearly visible through it.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Philip Hai once said that unless you can empathize with those victims, you won’t know what evil is. Empathy can make people put themselves in other people’s situations and inner feelings. It also exists in the film world: the film gives the audience a new emotional experience. Through it, we have the opportunity to understand human nature from the perspective of others. Empathy, usually defined by habit, is an emotion in which people feel that they are experiencing the feelings of others. In the process of feeling, you will temporarily lose self-consciousness. This may not be the case. Although people become closer to others in the process of empathy, they still need self-awareness. Otherwise, it is impossible to really have a deeper understanding of the situation of others. Through this article, I will tell you how Michael hanek’s funny game guides the audience into thinking about the violent plot in the media.

Development potential of “empathy effect”

In the funny game, two gentle looking young people who call themselves Paul and Peter come to the holiday residence of the scoy family and deliberately insult and torture Anna, George and their son. At first, they killed the dog with a golf club and broke George’s kneecap. Later, Anna was forced to take off her clothes in exchange for stopping the punishment of her son. With a smile on his face, Peter proposed to play a “funny game”: “I bet all three of you will be finished in twelve hours!” This game of double destruction of body and spirit has really begun.

Funny games may be a shocking movie. According to some critics, it is a shocking and contradictory film. It may mean that video is not only pure entertainment, but also criticizes entertainment, the public and mainstream media. The shocking effect of funny games is not for entertaining the audience, but for a special purpose. It does not simply take the violent plot as a narrative means, but strongly questions the violence itself. However, in the view of some people, the film failed in the pursuit of morality. Because it causes the audience to empathize with the protagonist. As the film critic Janie lindham of Helsingin Sanomat wrote:

This video is somewhat depressing, but it is by no means exclusive. Because the audience’s focus is not on their own inner peace – thank God, it’s not terrible at last – but to sympathize with the protagonist’s fate: Dear director, please don’t hurt them again. As long as they always pay close attention to the development of the plot, it is impossible for the audience to really have fear, and it is impossible to really re-examine the relationship between themselves and violence. Because he didn’t feel the most terrible thing in the nature of violence: randomness.

Lindham’s comments represent the views of many critics. This view is based on Brecht’s ideological system. Brecht believes that the audience’s feelings and identification with fictional characters will weaken their rational thinking and make them easy to be influenced by ideology. Through the “defamiliarization theory”, Brecht defined a special model for political drama or film. To this day, no one has tried to explore other ways of expression. But in fact, the sense of identity and emotional response itself also have the potential to serve spiritual and social change. It can also urge the audience to reflect and criticize the video with a skeptical attitude.

I think the empathy caused by funny games can make the audience doubt and re-examine the relationship between themselves and media violence. Through the empathy of the victims in the video, the audience can have a deeper understanding of the causality of violence. This is not reflected in Kubrick’s clockwork orange and Oliver Stone’s natural killer. For these two videos, the audience can not feel or rarely feel the role of empathy. When they watch the violence, they are more like a distant bystander. To some extent, the two videos are too addicted to refinement and introspection, not really extreme.

Violence as a way of life

In the article “abnormal killers and family invaders in Austria: the horror thriller funny game”, Marcus stirego wrote that the horror generated by funny game comes from the terrible and confusing situation faced by the protagonist. This situation “goes beyond all rational behavior, psychological motivation and logical interpretation.” The contradiction between “normal” and “aimless” provides a space for the audience’s empathy. He / she also involved himself / herself. The questionable contradiction has emerged from the beginning of the video: when the skokos drove to the holiday villa, the music changed from the cheerful George Frederick to George Zen’s aggressive heavy metal without warning.

On the rational level, neither Kobe nor the audience can understand the kind of unprovoked violence they are about to face. This is tantamount to providing the basis for the audience’s empathy. Empathy comes from the sudden replacement of shared happiness by two young people committing aimless crimes. The first reaction to this “aimlessness” is anger – in the film, Anna is disappointed and upset about Paul’s deliberate clumsiness – but as the situation gets out of control and violence breaks out, anxiety is replaced by fear.

The Kobe family’s nightmare experience in the video deeply touched the audience. Anna and George can neither protect their son nor themselves. As Felix and sterego said:

From that moment until the end of the video, we were all involved in this unacceptable and understandable game. There is no “funny” here – whether it’s the tortured family or the audience outside the screen. So they can’t help but have a sense of identity with the victims.

The Scooby family and the audience will ask the murderer the same question: “why did you do this?” The answer is absurd and unreasonable. When explaining Peter’s behavior, Paul said he was a “spoiled child troubled by the chaotic world and overwhelmed by emptiness.” As he spoke, he winked at the camera.

Brecht’s paradox in the video is that the audience maintains the same subjective perspective as the killer at the post narrative level, but emotionally stands on the side of the scooters. Peter and Paul winked at the camera and asked, “do you think they will have a chance? If you stand on their side, who will you bet?” Peter shot and killed his son, and the audience didn’t see the picture (so there was the basis of emotional catharsis, that is, the suspense atmosphere was released through the picture of violence). The camera was looking at Paul, who was making sandwiches in the kitchen. Therefore, the audience can only be forced to experience the process and results of violence with the help of sound and imagination. Or, through the victim’s facial expression:

In the video, we constantly see Anna’s face after being destroyed. It was a face that was gradually relaxed by constant torture. All human dignity was completely destroyed by escalating insults.

The self critical character of the comic game (Peter and Paul’s complete statement to the audience when the audience empathized with the Kobe family) is disturbing. Because it forces us to admit our position of recognizing the existence of media violence. With the help of Brecht’s biochemical theory and the combination of empathy and identification with the protagonist, the video has achieved success in the pursuit of morality and ethics. The effect is much better than using only one of them. When the story goes against the two young killers (Anna grabs a shotgun and kills Peter at the end of the video), Paul picks up the remote control to play back on the screen in order to change the result. In response to Anna’s question “why don’t they just kill our family”, he said: that would lose control of the game and destroy all our fun.

Fun, as the answer to “why did you do this”, is right to the point. This answer is as absurd as those who pursue extreme violence videos. But the fact is that such videos for the purpose of satisfying the audience’s happy entertainment are still emerging one after another. In the modern society where we live, the game rule of mass media entertainment is to create entertainment. Even through violence.

When George begged Peter and Paul to stop torturing their family, Paul responded to the audience: “the film is not over yet.” He then said, “does it feel OK? You want an acceptable normal ending, don’t you?” The Kobe family’s pain is not over because the audience wants to continue watching. But because they empathize with the victims, they don’t get fun from the video. By making the audience strongly empathize with the victims, director hanek attempts to describe violence as: it is neither entertainment nor a part of life, but an unbearable pain. In the director’s own words: “I have restored the essence of violence: the violence that happens to others is also a kind of pain.”

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