7 February 2006 | batleh
Ever since he has journeyed into serious films (starting with "Empire of the Sun" and then "Schindler's List"), Steven Spielberg has been searching for a method of making violence unattractive to moviegoers. "Schindler's List" was, of course, shocking, but this first attempt at strong violence did not quite have the intended effect. I know that a lot of people (including me) feel saddened by the film, but SL's violence could seem distant at times, like the audience was merely an observer. "Saving Private Ryan" was the second great attempt at making moviegoers detest violence, but this seemed easily dismissed as a war film, showing events that would probably never happen again, like showing violence in a distant universe. Munich is his latest effort, and it shows Spielberg's feeling that his previous films, although progressive, had not quite 'hit the mark'.
The violence shown in Munich is, perhaps, the most brutal realistically intentioned violence ever shown on film. I say 'realistically intentioned' because, like the average moviegoer, I have not witnessed people getting shot or blown up, so I don't know what those events would actually look like. There are many signs in the film that Spieberg is trying to improve on his earlier efforts. The guns in the film are REALLY loud when fired. This has the effect of putting you in the fight, making it more intimate when someone IS shot. The bullet wounds and remains after explosions are quite gruesome. When someone dies in this film, no matter what side they are on, you feel no happiness, no relief or awe. You feel a sense of death, nothing dramatic, just blank and empty. For this reason, Munich is one of the most important films to have come out, and perhaps it is Spielberg's best ('Raiders' is too superhuman to be included on that list). Spielberg deserves the best director for this one.