It magnetizes us through profound degrees of mystery, psychology, dramatic intensity and perceptive dialogue, and then still retains enough power after the closing credits to leave us in thoughtful contemplation of its more cerebral perspectives.
Writer-director Michael Haneke doesn't pull any punches, but then he doesn't throw any wild ones, either. His filmmaking shows precisely the sort of obsession with control that the movie itself is denouncing. Interesting, you've got to admit.
This film is a total drag to watch. It is slow. It is dark. It is depressing, and it seems as though it is never going to end. It is torture to sit through this film. It runs 144 minutes and seems twice that long.