MICHAEL (2012) Add To My Top 10

The Mind of a Monster

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: February 17, 2012

Starring: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss, Victor Tremmel, Gisela Salcher

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 96 minutes

Distributor: Strand Releasing

Director: Markus Schleinzer

Executive Producer:

Producer: Nikolaus Gayrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michael Kitzberger

Writer: Markus Schleinzer

Address Comments To:

Jon Gerrans and Marcus Hu, Co-President, Strand Releasing
6140 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: (310) 836-7500; Fax: (310) 836-7510
Website: www.strandreleasing.com; Email: [email protected]

Content:

(HHH, HoHoHo, C, LL, VV, SS, A, MMM) A grimly disturbing, matter-of-fact humanist portrait of the life of a homosexual pedophile and the young boy he has held prisoner in his home for years, plus a couple mild Christian references as the pedophile and his prisoner solemnly sing Christmas carols in his home before a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve but protagonist seems a bit conflicted about it; 11 obscenities and nine profanities, plus a couple vile jokes by evil pedophile; implied sexual abuse, car hits man, man shoves woman into the ground, car crash kills driver, man tries to take toy away from 10-year-old boy, boy poisons some water and throws it in kidnapper’s eyes before trying to escape and kidnapper fights with boy in the doorway before throwing the boy back in the room; implied sexual abuse and pedophilia and a couple vile sexual jokes; no nudity; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, cruelty, lies, deceit, pedophile tells young kidnap victim that his parents “gave” boy to him, pedophile visits go-kart place to see if he can kidnap a young boy but fails, pedophile tries to warp kidnap victim’s mind about their “relationship.”


Summary:

MICHAEL is a subdued, yet utterly horrifying, portrayal from Germany of a pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy hidden in a room. The filmmakers take an austere, near-documentary approach toward their abhorrent subject matter, so no real insights are gained by watching MICHAEL.


Review:

MICHAEL is a subdued, yet utterly horrifying, portrayal from Germany of a pedophile who keeps a young boy imprisoned in a hidden room in his basement. The movie never takes the side of the pedophile, but it tries to portray what drives a person to be that way and to consume their lives in secrecy over such behavior.
The story follows the daily life and twisted psychological dynamics between Michael and Wolfgang, the boy Michael keeps prisoner. It also explores Michael’s relationship with the rest of the outside world.
There is no great moral purpose served by such a movie, and even secular-minded critics and viewers are likely to be turned off by the fact that this movie never really takes a strong point of view or stand on Michael’s behavior. So, even though his behavior is clearly evil, it just exists. Thus, no real insights are gained. Even so, it’s still heartbreaking and stomach-churning to see the young boy subjected to even implied moments of sexual abuse and rape. Also, the ending offers no solid hope that the boy survives his ordeal. MICHAEL also has some foul language and a couple extremely crude jokes.
The acting in MICHAEL is highly realistic but subdued. That’s because the movie takes an austere, near-documentary approach towards its subject matter. To say that the movie is artistically worthless may not be true, but to lavish praise upon a movie of this subject matter risks enticing people to see it. Even out of morbid curiosity. All in all, MICHAEL is one movie that any viewer of sound mind would be eager to avoid.


In Brief:

MICHAEL is a subdued, yet utterly horrifying, portrayal from Germany of a pedophile. Michael keeps a 10-year-old boy imprisoned in a hidden room in his basement. The story follows the daily life and twisted psychological dynamics between Michael and Wolfgang, the boy Michael keeps prisoner. It also explores Michael’s relationship with the rest of the outside world.
The movie doesn’t take the side of the pedophile. Instead, it tries to portray what drives a person to be that way and to consume their lives in secrecy about it. However, the filmmakers never really take a strong stand on Michael’s behavior. So, even though his behavior is clearly evil, it just exists. Thus, no real insights are gained. In fact, the filmmakers take an austere, near-documentary approach toward their subject matter. Even so, it’s still heartbreaking and stomach-churning to see the young boy subjected to even implied moments of sexual abuse and rape. Also, the ending offers no solid hope that the boy survives his ordeal. MICHAEL also has some foul language and a couple extremely crude jokes. Ultimately, there’s no compelling reason to see such a disturbing movie about this subject.