Sunday

Das Schloß

It happened when I read The Trial and it happened again when I saw The Castle last night. The Trial is a novel written by Franz Kafka and also The Castle. Both the works have been adapted into movies, though I am yet to watch The Trial and read The Castle.
The Castle or Das Schloß is directed by Michael Haneke and released in 1997. K, the protagnist in the movie is a surveyor who is sent to a castle to do some (unknown) work for the count. When he arrives at the village, he finds that nobody is expecting him and further the villagers and village officials prevent him even from entering the castle. Sucked in this inefficient bureaucracy K starts losing his identity. He starts to get tired mentally and physically. With systematic attempt from the villagers and his love, Frieda he is filled with guilt and pain… and then the manuscript ends!
While watching the movie one can easily recognize the trademark style of Haneke. The lack of music throughout the movie except the beginning, cynical characters, protagonist wanting to break free, slow ,long and static shots, use of blue and brown lightening and above all the claustrophobic atmosphere.
However, probably this is the only work where I saw someone overtaking Michael Haneke. That someone was Franz Kafka. The movie had Kafka written all over it though the style was typical Haneke. Probably that is due to the fact that both of them had a similar style. The absurdism, cynical and pessimistic view, confused characters, and helplessness. Both of them don’t tell a story but they bring the main character to a point and try as much as possible to stop the character and story to move forward. It’s the wait… a long everlasting wait. 
That wait starts to get in your head and you can’t do anything but to feel the helplessness of the character, unable to do anything but made to realize that you are just an audience who can’t do anything but to wait for something to happen so they can laugh or cry. 
That realization happened to me when I read The Trial and it happened again when I saw The Castle last night. I don’t like it but I can’t help it. I can watch it again.

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