Arts

All about Eve

29 November 2017 | by Anthony Quinn

Cinema

 

Happy End
Director: Michael Haneke

This being a Michael Haneke film, the word “happy” in the title is wired with the same alarm as the word “funny” in his earlier Funny Games (so good he made it twice). Happy End doesn’t break new ground for the Austrian film-maker, yet one could argue that it doesn’t need to, because the themes he revisits here – racial hostility (Code Unknown), surveillance terror (Caché), generational vengeance (The White Ribbon) – are as pertinent as ever. There is even an explicit reference to the unhappy end of his last film Amour (2012) when one elderly protagonist mercy-killed the other.

A troubling film, then, and for stretches a baffling one. What to make, for instance, of its creepy opening, shot Instagram-style on cameraphone by an unseen presence, of a woman performing her bathroom ablutions? And who are the emailing couple inflaming one another with messages of “insane desire”?





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