Film Review: Amour (2012)

220px-Amour-poster-frenchMichael Haneke‘s film Amour won almost all the awards there was to win around all the prestigious film festivals over the world and more: it actually made Hollywood consider it for the best picture category (though it lost to, surprise, surprise, not Lincoln, not Beast of the Southern Wild, not even Les Miserables, but to Argo).

Jokes apart; considering all the elements of film making, Amour is a diamond curved almost to perfection. It is the epitome of adept film-making by a seasoned master who, like Kieselwoski, took a rather simple, tender, homely plot and treated it to build a flawless paragon. In an age when budget for film-making is increasing within a wink of an eye, Haneke made a film almost indistinguishable from a stage drama completely shot within indoors and portrayed by a very few actors and actresses.

The story is a rather dull sounding yet miraculously captivating tale of an old couple trying to find their way in a life when one of the partners is ailing and trudging towards senselessness. Anne, an octogenarian piano teacher, lives with her husband. Their stale uneventful existence is queried when Anne suddenly suffers from a stroke. A surgery was performed but to no avail and her condition worsened as she suffered  from hemiplegia. The rest of the film is about how Anne is taken care by George who promised her not to send back to hospital or to any care center, his cold brush-off with their skeptic daughter, his struggle to hold on to the last traces of consciousness and sanity of his only companion. Like always, Haneke uses metaphors and allegories abundantly with minimalist music and charming cinematography to his aid. The simple tale is told simply, without adulterating with unnecessary complication. The serene yet cynic ending has a twist, just to the amount that was required and thus love between the two protagonists that throbbed throughout the film did not die away following the end of the last sequence.

Truly speaking Amour is the magnum opus of Haneke. Keeping in mind his earlier acclaimed works such as White ribbon or Cache, Amour would still outweigh any of them given its depth, its surreal ambiance, its dreamlike aura and the scathing passion that it communicates to its viewer without resorting to any melodramatic element.