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Not Yet Rated| 1 hr. 36 min.

Plot Summary
An insurance executive (Michael Fuith) keeps a 10-year-old boy (David Rauchenberger) captive in his basement.

Cast: Michael Fuith , David Rauchenberger , Christine Kain , Ursula Strauss , Gisela Salcher , Mika Sakurai , Helga Karall , Gertraud Ball

Director: Markus Schleinzer

Genres: Drama

Michael (2011)

Release Date: February 15th, 2012|1 hr. 36 min.

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critic reviews ( 3 )
fan reviews ( 1 )
See all critic reviews on metacritic.com
  • September 16, 2012 er00000000129482
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    Michael walks into his house with some groceries, cooks a meal and sets a table for 2. In the basement, Michael opens a door into a dark room, a boy appears. The boy is Wolfgang, they eat, wash up, watch a bit of television and go to bed. This is a daily routine for what appears to be a one-parent family, living in Vienna, Austria. Director Markus Schleinzer zooms in on Michael’s life, he is single and works in an insurance firm, he has a mother, a sister and a brother. Michael takes Wolfgang to the zoo, they celebrate Christmas, hold hands as they walk the streets, play games and watch tv. All seemingly normal. Wolfgang is 10 years old, but Michael is not in fact the boys father. Wolfgang has been imprisoned by Michael, a 35-year old paedophile. Schleinzer resists any moralising, and he holds back from showing anything explicit, but shares the nightmare of Wolfgang’s abuse through suggestion. Our minds fill in the gaps, assisting in reinforcing Michael and Wolfgangs ‘relationship’ which only increases the tension. Michael’s all too believable scenario could be happening anywhere, he could easily be your neighbour, or a colleague in work, and you would never know who he truly is. Often it is Michael who is the boy, unable and unwilling to handle adult responsibilities, and all too ready to just close the door when he can’t handle it. In one particularly disturbing scene, Michael re-enacts a scene from a film in front of Wolfgang, who is unimpressed. For a split second, their roles are reversed. Wolfgangs imprisonment accelerates his journey to adulthood, while Michael becomes the child. No matter how humane Michael was portrayed, your attention is always focused on Wolfgangs ordeal. The performances of Michael Fuith as Michael and David Rauchenberger as Wolfgang are excellent, especially the latter considering the subject matter. Schleinzer may have tried to humanise Michael’s lifeless world to good effect, but some of the poorly conceived plot devices such as his scene with a woman and his accidents felt like he was merely filling in the gaps. Schleinzer’s detached style did leave me feeling short-changed by the end, as if Michael had won. Wolfgang’s nightmare is so locked in your consciousness, for once i prayed for some semblance of a conclusion. Schleinzer’s view on ************* is certainly thought-provoking but was just too pessimistic for me. Nevertheless, ‘Michael

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