Friday, January 13, 2006

Krauthammer's Review On "Munich" Worth a Careful Reading

I have chosen not to pay money to see the movie "Munich." This is not so much because of the controversy over the film but simply because the subject matter does not interest me. Fictionalized history, especially of the still-warm-in-the-morgue variety rarely gets me all excited.

I have, however, read many negative reviews and comments of the film, but none as clear and succinct as in Charles Krauthammer's syndicated column this morning entitled, "'Munich,' the Tragedy."

His most devestating indictment of the movie can be found in these two consecutive paragraphs:

It is an axiom of filmmaking that you can only care about a character you know. In "Munich," the Israeli athletes are not only theatrical but historical extras, stick figures. (Director) Spielberg dutifully gives us their names--Spielberg's List--and nothing more: no history, no context, no relationships, nothing. They are there to die.

The Palestinians who plan the massacre and are hunted down by Israel are given--with the concision of the gifte cinematic craftsman--texture, humanity, depth, history. The first Palestinian we meet is the erudite poet giving a public reading, then acting kindly toward his Italian shopkeeper--before he is brutally shot in cold blood by the Jews...
You get the idea. I got it and I will be content to let others pay good money to watch history and humanity disfigured and bludgeoned to death in the name of "art" or whatever else Mr. Spielberg wishes to call his movie.