24 July 2018 | asda-man
Not top-tier Haneke
As a massive Haneke fan, 71 Fragments and Time of the Wolf were the only films of his I had left to see. I ticked 71 Fragments off last night and was left feeling slightly underwhelmed. It isn't a bad film or anything, it's just very pedestrian for Michael. It lacks the emotional power of The Seventh Continent, the shock of Benny's Video and the technical skill of Code Unknown, yet it resembles all three. If those three films had a hideously depressing threesome, then 71 Fragments would probably be its mediocre child.
Thankfully it's not as horrifyingly boring as The Castle or the second half of Benny's Video, even though the plot description sounds like it could be. It follows about four unrelated characters going about their everyday business. There's a ping ponging student, a stowaway boy, a depressed couple and a lonely Granddad. Haneke gives us very brief snapshots of their lives which is reminiscent of Code Unknown and Happy End, although not as focused or engaging. I didn't find any of it boring, just a little bit repetitive. The ending also isn't as shocking as it would like to think it is.
So in the end, it's a well-made little film which some interesting themes and the odd great scene, however it's not worth going out of your way to find. To my mind, Haneke's greatest films are: Amour, The Piano Teacher and Hidden.