I was bored by Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher where the moment of suffering never comes. If Haneke creates characters that cannot or will not communicate, then one must suffer from boredom, because he is a fine film maker and we must learn to suffer. However, if the attempt is to existentialise alienation, make it an art, showcase it to show cultural and racial isolation, depicting difficulty in communication also, then Code Unknown, Haneke's deft collage movement is actually quite good.
There are some powerful scenes or movements in this movie. My favourites are the Boulevard scenes, the metro scene and Juliette Binoche in the theatre. Of course, this movie can only exist in its deft style but the characters are actually caricatures for if, if they actually tell their stories, then the facade of pseudo-communication, the ghetto existence of most European cities will simply explode. If Haneke strikes a kind of balance between different racial subtypes in this movie, he does not allow his characters to speak, for speaking would involve politics, politics to do something. The artists aim is not just to showcase suffering but to take sides and we do not know whose side he is on.
Any person worth his salt can have an opinion. All opinions, even relating to what coffee one drinks could be political. Most European cinema, under the guise of Art, has escaped from attempting to answer, to speak. To highlight all this xenophobia, racialism, boredom is to stultify the subject matter, for the crisis must be lived, the love torn to pieces, the tumour touched and then, only then can this heartache be led to its proper denouement. Otherwise, this movie is only poster pain, a moving collage.
However, to be fair, this movie has its moments too. It takes courage to stick a poster to a city wall in Europe these days. And Haneke, after all, is quite brave.