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HUMAN FACTORS (2021, NJE) – 6.5/10

Ronny Trocker is a German filmmaker born in the north of Italy who also showed with another feature film that he is a great admirer of Michael Haneke. In recent years, it has become almost unbelievable, perhaps even worrying, how many filmmakers from all over the world try to follow the style of the Austrian master, but few succeed in doing so. Even Trocker didn’t quite succeed in this, whose “Human Factors” may not be Haneke’s in style, but entered his field with its theme and ominous atmosphere. From the description and from the opening sequences, it seemed to me that “Human Factors” could be on the trail of “Funny Games” because here, too, it seems that some burglars broke into the house of a German upper-middle-class family.

However, that invasion of their vacation home somewhere in France will end very quickly and until the end it will not be clear to us whether the “home invasion” happened at all or if it was all in the heads of the tenants. After the introduction, “Human Factors” will remind me more of another Haneke film – “Cache” because it seems as if there is something sinister, insidious, hidden, unspoken in the relationship between the characters. The third film to which this film partly associated me is “Force majeure” by the Swede Ruben Östlund, because the rest of the family seems to begin to understand that the pater familias is a coward. The first part of the film is told from the perspective of Jan (Mark Waschke, who is still best remembered as the diabolical priest from the “Dark” series).

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He and his wife Nina (Sabine Timoteo) own a marketing company in Germany, and while Nina is the main creative, Jan is the one who takes care of clients and arranges deals. Without telling his wife, Jan agreed to campaign for a controversial populist right-wing anti-immigrant party. He agreed to it even though they had an agreement that he would never engage in politics, but Jan broke that agreement because apparently the money offered was very good. Their children, teenage girl Emma and younger son Max, arrived with them on holiday in the house in France, and everything will go wrong when it seems to Nina that someone has broken into their house.

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The problem is that no one saw the burglars, only banging was heard, Jan was not in the house at that moment, and just when he arrived at the entrance to the yard and it seemed to him that something strange was happening, he decided to wait for the banging to stop. When he finally arrives at the house, the rest of the family will think that Jan betrayed them and that he scared them, and we will follow this crucial situation around the burglary from the perspective of all family members until the end. This mysterious drama turns almost into a puzzle that needs to be put together. We understand that even before there were some cracks between the family members that were only further potentiated by the intrusion, but unfortunately “Human Factors” was also an example of a film in which the author seemed to have run out of ideas on how to conclude it, so everything was left quite unfinished. .

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