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Michael

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Michael, a seemingly meek insurance agent, has a secret: he's holding 10-year-old Wolfgang captive in a locked room in his basement. Chronicling a five month period, director Markus Schleinzer reveals a tense portrait of how seemingly mundane lives can hide the darkest secrets. MICHAEL is a masterfully executed study of a monster with rich cinematic detail and unnerving insight.

Review

a keen observational thriller --Indiewire

a tight control of mood and style --Film Comment

unnerving --Cinema Scope

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain
  • Directors: Markus Schleinzer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0077ERLCC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,040 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 17, 2012
Format: DVD
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on June 20, 2012
Format: DVD
Some films are really hard to watch. `Michael' is one of them. It is not an easy subject to broach, and oftentimes when it is broached it is done in one of two ways; either too distanced so as to create a void of feeling or too intimate so as to create a sense of nausea and complete discomfort. `Michael' is one of those rare films that goes just far enough so as to completely own the subject without stepping over the line and creating something that made you feel disgusted with yourself for watching (`Mysterious Skin', while containing a stellar performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is one of those movies that I felt horrible for watching). This film hits in harsh ways, sure, but it is smart in the way it shies away from showing us too much.

`Michael' shows us a few months in the life of Michael. Michael seems like a normal man. He's quiet and tad reclusive. He works hard, excels even, and carries on normal conversation with co-workers. He functions in society like one would expect. He even goes on vacations with friends, drinking and flirting and `hooking up'. But, what his friends and family don't know is that when Michael returns home he is not alone. He unlocks his basement and lets out Wolfgang, a ten-year-old boy whom he has kidnapped and who he abuses on a regular basis. They eat together, play together and it is apparent that Michael uses Wolfgang for other things as well.

This is the story being told. The film basically carries along without a direct end-point and we're left to wonder just where this film is taking us. In the meantime, we are left watching some very uncomfortable scenarios play out between Michael and Wolfgang that are sure to leave a lasting impression.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lacancan on December 29, 2012
Format: DVD
This is an intelligent approach to an important issue that society needs to deal with in a grown up way. I applaud the writer and director for finding a nuanced means to contributing to this conversation. Michael is an intricate and involving cinematic experience put to good use, to get the viewer to examine his own feelings towards the protagonists and ultimately themselves. It does not channel our emotions (heavy doses of hatred and desire for retribution in my case) nor give them a release but leaves us suspended until we communicate our thoughts about it in the real world, as I am doing now. I think the film will last with me for some time, it was a dark little corner of the world to visit.
I am wary of other reviews that interpret the film as concerning the suspicions of people around you, I don't think the aim is to make us paranoid, if anything to be more involved with the world and the people within it so that privacy and disinterest cannot be a de facto excuse for abuse.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dobbs on July 14, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film at the 2011 Toronto Film Fest -- it was the best film I saw that year.

If you're a fan of intricate filmmaking -- like you would get in a Michael Haneke movie -- than this film is for you. Yes, the subject matter is disturbing but the director's handing of it is not at all sensational.

My only complaint is I wish the title had been released on Blu-ray.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter M on June 27, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This very slow moving film is about a paedophile who keeps a captured boy in his cellar.It is riveting,unnerving and keeps you on the edge of your seat .The final scene is unforgettable. A minor masterpiece.
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