Time of the Wolf (2003) – The Beginning of a Painful

Michael Haneke’s “Time of the Wolf” is an apocalyptic movie about wounds, disasters, and tragedy. It is set in one of an unnamed European country in the aftermath where people live desperate without fresh water and food. One of the family is stuck in a cast in the rural countryside where there is no law and order anymore. All of these people included this family, live without having to think about morals and reason again. Fear and horror just haunted this family who lived in this town. Animals suddenly become sick and die. Not to mention, other animals turn into wild animals.

My first watch at “Funny Games” was enthralling yet unsettling. It’s a movie about two psychopaths without any motives at all torture one of a family in their own home. It’s a meta-satire movie that criticizes the representation of violence in the media. And after watching this movie, I get a sense of hopelessness without help. “Funny Games” and “Time of the Wolf” have one unique similarity. Both of the movies explore the deepest fears in humans. Both of the films also explore a sense of wound where people cannot live long. Haneke‚Äôs films are unforgiving and anesthetic. It’s hard to sympathize with one or another character. The universe isolated us, and the protagonist, in its world.

Most of Haneke’s work is like a reflection of ourselves in a dark yet disturbing world. In “Time of the Wolf”, this movie sets in a post-apocalyptic dystopia universe where there isn’t an explanation where. You don’t need to know where and you don’t need to know why. While most of the dystopian survival or post-apocalyptic world always focused on the protagonist living in its world, “Time of the Wolf” is none.

Hence, the universe in “Time of the Wolf” is more pragmatic. Just like the family in this movie, stranded in nowhere where you don’t know anything. Even if you get vague information about the setting, it just implied how the disaster only happened because of a kind of disease or natural disaster. The rest of it, there is nothing. The story tells about the struggle where one family: Anne (Isabelle Hupper), Georges (Daniel Duval), Eva (Anais Demoustier), and Ben (Lucas Biscombe). They just need one thing in their live: a vacation in a quiet village in their cabin. The first sequence also reminds me of the introduction of a family in “Funny Games” where there is a triggered event and their lives never are the same again.

The story in this movie consists of how this family never guessed if there was an armed man, his wife, and their children, taking their whole cabin. Due to Georges dead, Anne and her two sons had just entered the wild hell. It’s an engaging story for a movie about post-apocalyptic. You never see a high tech or future in this movie. It suffers from so slow pace, like watching the torture and how the family in this film lived it. They find it hard to find a place to stay and stop by. When one survivor sacrifices her body just for a glass of water for her baby, it’s not working. These people remain just for one thing: supplies. If you don’t have valuables, then you can’t live in this film. And you also have to sell your body.

This movie forcing you to witness all these terrifying, incoherent, and nihilism events. There is one character as well who tries to live in its own rules by stealing and staying in the woods. Certainly, watching this movie is like watching a horrible accident or remembering bad memory. It’s not the type of movie you always imagine or the type of escapist science fiction works you always fantasize about. Likewise, the relief watching this movie just focuses on how these human conditions work terribly. It lacks any morals without any civilization. In contrast, it’s like living in quiet despair without any routes. Above all, the cinematography and the visual in this movie is soulless yet gorgeous. In contrast, just like the story.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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