Sunday, January 29, 2006


Chutzpah served cold

Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hans Zischler

Tagline: The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next

One of Munich’s greatest flaws is in the treatment of its star. The setups used to convey the theme of Bana's ongoing catharsis and guilt are handled with the sort of unbelievably inept and childish occidental bollocks found only in Spielberg’s worst moments; nightmares and vomitous screams, culminating in the most unbearable sex-scene, like the one in A History of Violence, but an utter failure on every level. All of these are drenched in sweat and the even moister and clingier Eastern wails of its banal Williams score.

It is pleasing then that much of the rest of the film is as ambitious and adult as it should be. Most of the cast seem to understand the sour humour and dramatic gravitas required of the bleak, witty script, and the content of their experiences together, including the assassinations themselves, is selected quite masterfully. It is still however, an unredeemably cold and unfulfilling experience. After the portrayal of the tragedy itself, there is little which merits the participation of the onlooker to will on or try to ward off inevitable events on a first, let alone second viewing. Instead, the nasty violence and Kushner’s nastier one-liners make up the majority of the film’s genuinely exciting highlights. Much of the controversy surrounding the film is to do with either its inability to, to a better extent anyway, take a side in the Israeli-Palestine conflict or its inability to have balls between its legs. It undoubtedly has the latter and it doesn’t need the former. All it requires is enough consistency in its daring to give itself the coherence of an artistic statement worthy of its creators.


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