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Michael [DVD]

Michael Fuith , David Rauchenberger , Markus Schleinzer    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain
  • Directors: Markus Schleinzer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 28 May 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,781 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

An impressive debut Time Out

This acclaimed Austrian drama focuses on five months in the life of paedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement.

A protégé of Michael Haneke, Markus Schleinzer's "Michael" is a triumph of uneasy cinema. With an unorthodox level of restraint, the director tells the story of a dull office drone who keeps a kidnapped young boy locked in his house.

Despite its subversive edge, "Michael" successfully drains the shock out of a frightening premise and instead delivers a keen observational thriller. From its opening minutes, "Michael" reveals its alarming plot with a patient, naturalistic atmosphere.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Michael walks into his house with some groceries, cooks a meal and sets a table for 2. In the basement, Michael opens a door into a dark room, a boy appears. The boy is Wolfgang, they eat, wash up, watch a bit of television and go to bed.

This is a daily routine for what appears to be a one-parent family, living in Vienna, Austria. Director Markus Schleinzer zooms in on Michael's life, he is single and works in an insurance firm, he has a mother, a sister and a brother. Michael takes Wolfgang to the zoo, they celebrate Christmas, hold hands as they walk the streets, play games and watch tv. All seemingly normal.

Wolfgang is 10 years old, but Michael is not in fact the boys father. Wolfgang has been imprisoned by Michael, a 35-year old paedophile. Schleinzer resists any moralising, and he holds back from showing anything explicit, but shares the nightmare of Wolfgang's abuse through suggestion. Our minds fill in the gaps, assisting in reinforcing Michael and Wolfgangs `relationship' which only increases the tension. Michael's all too believable scenario could be happening anywhere, he could easily be your neighbour, or a colleague in work, and you would never know who he truly is.

Often it is Michael who is the boy, unable and unwilling to handle adult responsibilities, and all too ready to just close the door when he can't handle it. In one particularly disturbing scene, Michael re-enacts a scene from a film in front of Wolfgang, who is unimpressed. For a split second, their roles are reversed. Wolfgangs imprisonment accelerates his journey to adulthood, while Michael becomes the child.

No matter how humane Michael was portrayed, your attention is always focused on Wolfgangs ordeal.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story Of a Paedophile from Austria. 17 Jun 2012
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Sometimes I wonder at why I decide to watch certain films and this falls into that particular category. It is about Michael (Michael Fuith) who has kidnapped ten year old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger), he keeps him locked in a sound proofed room with uber brilliant security in his basement. By day he is a mealy mouthed insurance sales man at a local call centre, then at night he turns into a sort of special uncle / step father to his captive. He acts like he is the father and goes through the rigours of everyday domesticity with his victim as if he were playing out a normal role, like setting the table for dinner and doing the washing up.

Poor Wolfgang is clearly traumatised by the whole thing but is sort of resigned to playing along, probably in the hope of less brutal treatment. We never get to see the actual abuse, but this is none the less powerful for it, perhaps because we are left to fill in the gaps, it appears worse, if that was actually possible. The abuse is also psychological and sometimes I felt that was actually worse than the nightly incursions. I was in a constant state of anxiety whilst watching this. However, I was hooked from the word go but I also wanted it to be over, but paradoxically when it ended I wanted to know more; I am so hard to please.

Writer and director Markus Schleinzer has made an original and provoking film. The acting by the two main actors is brilliant especially David Rauchenberger, who was utterly convincing. Michael also watches violent porn and that gives him ideas too which though disgusting actually helped to break up the tension a couple of times.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
How does anyone make a film about a subject such as child molestation? In this case, in an unflinching, manner that causes the viewer to question how such a thing can happen in this day and age. Just how much does anyone know the quiet neighbour or work colleague?

The film focuses on the character of Michael, a quiet loner who comes across as a bit of a loser. Lacking in social skills (played out over scenes of an awkward office party) he is shown to be conscientious in his work and close with his sister, yet he just happens to also be a paedophile who keeps a 10 year old boy imprisoned in a reinforced room in his basement. Building on suspense and a quiet sense of unease, rather than blatant shock tactics (any 'particular' visits Michael makes to the boy, Wolfgang, in the basement are all off-camera) the main disturbing factor seems to be the almost father/son relationship between the man and boy. They take day trips, Wolfgang undercover in the back of the car until Michael tells him it is safe to sit up, and each evening Wolfgang joins Michael for dinner out of the basement where he is permitted to watch some television before returning to his prison. It's these mundane trips and this monotonous daily routine that make the film somewhat more alarming - they do look, for anyone to see, as a father and son. Wolfgang walks hand in hand with Michael, he sees another father and son and looks with interest over - is this really a father and son? Or another boy in the same daily horror as himself? With this is mind perhaps one of the most disturbing scenes is on one such day trip where the boy, Wolfgang is sick. Standing hunched over, Michael rests a hand on his back as vomits violently, a woman stops by observing the scene for a moment too long. Is she suspicious?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A horribly ambiguous ending that has left me wounded for life.
I cannot describe in words how much this film disturbed me, I usually enjoy these dark, provocative, Coming of age, abuse type themed films, like 'L.I.E. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Daniel Lewis hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave, intelligent film about a very sensitive issue.
This film shocked me at first and after 20 minutes I wasn't sure I could stomach an hour and a half of implied child abuse. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John P. Galantini
4.0 out of 5 stars Different approach, great ending.
A very sombre look at a very disturbing phenomena. By no means action packed, just a rather mundane day to day look at life held as prisoner. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M Fenton
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond brilliant ...
While the subject matter may be difficult, this is a very powerful film .. the two main actors (adult and child) carry this film to a frightening conclusion. Read more
Published 6 months ago by D.R Glen
1.0 out of 5 stars Trash with a trash end
This is one film with nothing in it and at the end when the boy is found we see nothing for a movie for adults only we dont see very much happen a strange film and weird to follow
Published 8 months ago by Mr. T. D. Mcgready
4.0 out of 5 stars Shivers
Late on in this ice-cold drama from casting-director-turned-writer-director Markus Schleinzer, a character describes the titular character as, amongst other things, "impatient". Read more
Published 11 months ago by R. J. Lister
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong subject
This strong film is dealt with extremely well. First class acting on a sensitive subject. Not everyone's cup of tea.
Published 12 months ago by Beryl Woodhead
4.0 out of 5 stars The cold everyday face of evil
This film is not a night's entertainment. It is certainly not to edify. It serves another purpose really - to see inside the day to day life of an ordinary man living an... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Michael Soros
4.0 out of 5 stars Dérangeant
Tourner de facon sobre, sans caricature, sans scènes scabreuses, mais poutant tout est clair dans ce film. Sobre mais très dérangeant. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Paco
3.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing !
A very strange atmosphere makes the watching of this film quite uneasy. But the subject being very touchy I think its a real achievement ! The boy plays very well ...
Published 18 months ago by KAUFFMANN
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