The Game (1997) – I Was Blind, But Now I See

You press start, play the movie, watch it without anything distract your focus, and enjoy. Not that really hard, I think. But, still not enough. Movies are not just part of entertainment but they are part of the conveyed message. On the other hand, movies are art. Watching movies includes how to appreciate the beauty of art from the techniques, cinematography, or story. Something challenging again, movies can also be part of brain therapy such as watching a puzzle movie with a non-linear story. You want something like interpretation or ambiguity, movies are the answer. Movies are part of spending our free time. Other people watch movies to understand what’s the director wants to convey. One of the most mysterious questions is, what if you participate in the film?

The rules are simple, you play the movie or the movie plays you. After the success of one of the greatest thriller movies ever, “Se7en”, David Fincher strikes again. Watching “The Game” is like watching a real-world stage. You know it’s real, but you never know it’s a part of the game. Once again, Fincher sticks with his trademark while keeping maintaining the atmosphere shot by shot. He loves dark and even I watched this movie in a dark room. The double plot twist at the end of the movie is just so amazing. However, the movie leaves a number of puzzles themselves.

Michael Douglas as Nicholas Van Orton is a billionaire. He has everything from life and facilities. One thing that’s lacking in him is himself. His wife had divorced him for a long time. The shadow of his father always haunted him, as the first sequence of the movie introduced. His father committed suicide in the past. Until then, Sean Penn as Conrad, Nicholas’ brother, gave him a business card of a company. It’s a weird company, a good place for killing your time. So, Nicholas has a mere chance of times. Nicholas went to the company, CSR, a true adventure service company. This company makes their clients play a game either is it life or anything. At first, Nicholas felt normal until finally, he couldn’t tell which one was real or game.

Imagine your entire family, your friends, your love, everybody suddenly turns into a true-friends-stab-you-in-the-front person. They just a part of the game. This is what Nicholas felt. He only wants one happiness in his life. However, everything changes when a company shakes it from outside and inside. The point of this movie is about to find these pieces of the puzzle. You put it into one and there you’ve it, you learned the trick of how to watch this movie. Fincher is like a manipulator. Will you cheat Fincher or will he cheat you? All of that’s in your hands. Fincher relies more on a plot twist as an attraction in all of his films. But, he always keeps his own impression so he doesn’t lose it from his trademark.

The introduction to the conflict was truly put at stake. If you lose your concentration or should I say you miss one piece of a puzzle, you have lost the direction of the film. Michael Douglas as a wealthy banker is amazing. Not only is he relied on his psychology but he was able to take every decision so quickly. He was very careful when he met the people around him but could also guess what would happen next. Manipulation is the main character. This is a scam game for Douglas, can’t control himself, can distinguish between reality and games.

“The Game” is like “American Psycho” especially the ending. Both of them play with your mind with a lot of ambiguity and interpretation. It left you behind where there was something strange when you think it finished. Does all this have to do with the shadows of Nicholas’ father past? The CRS was so careful at this point. If just there was a fatal error, everybody would die and the game would finish. There is a parable connection between flashbacks and current events. Yet, the movie might be a ridiculous thriller in this millennial era.

David Fincher captures all the sequences in a ringway, so subtle, but so smoothly. Every dark corner, it shots in a beautifully visual way without any monologue, but you understood later. It doesn’t feel monotonous and the movie always keeps you on the seat. Howard Shore’s score is so horror even though this isn’t a horror movie. The creepy nuances, the disturbing, the moment where you though the jumpscare would come, it did well. On the other hand, “The Game” is utter crap because the ending lacks common sense. How could you turn a dark thriller movie into the most “happiest” movie ever? “The Game” is an underrated gem from David Fincher, a film with consequences put on the table.

4 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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