Happy End (2017)

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Happy End: Directed by Michael Haneke. With Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin. A well-to-do French family deals with a series of setbacks and crises.

“Like others, the main reason I went to see this film was Michael Haneke. Although I always thought that he lacks humor and takes himself too seriously, he did make some outstanding and memorable films. Unfortunately, this one feels stale, redundant, and out of step with the times. The subject matter, the bourgeoisie entrapped in their self-serving bubble as a theme, has been shown so many times, and in much more poignant ways, including by Haneke himself. This film doesnu0026#39;t add anything new or noteworthy, neither with the story, nor with the style. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe way social media and phone messages are shown also feels embarrassingly dated, like a grandfather explaining this u0026quot;newu0026quot; phenomenon. u0026quot;Cacheu0026quot; was made over a decade ago, and technology and the discourses of its impacts have moved on with furious speed; apparently, Haneke has not. Even the metaphor of using Calais and the migrant u0026#39;jungleu0026#39; as point here misses its mark. It tries to be smart about it, but, once again, it just feels old in its approach.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eInterestingly enough, another western European film, the Swedish u0026quot;The Square,u0026quot; dealt with some similar themes and issues in the same year, but was more successful with its narrative framework and style. u0026quot;Happy Endu0026quot; just felt boring, not necessarily because of the long takes alone, but because of its uninspired re-threading of familiar ground. Because of that, those long takes eventually really did become boring. Perhaps Haneke will resurface with some interesting new work, or perhaps it is really time for him to retire. In any case, I hope the comparisons to Bunuel will cease. Bunuel was a pioneer with his films; this is a film by an old man, who doesnu0026#39;t seem to have much new to say any more.”

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