Starting with the humiliation of a refugee on a Paris street and the arrest of the youth who defends her, Michael Haneke's follow-up to Funny Games centres on the lives of those involved in the incident and the people they interact with. From Juliette Binoche's on-the-up actress to her boyfriend (Thierry Neuvic) and his brother (Alexandre Hamidi), we find all the characters live empty, unfulfilled lives, failing to connect with anybody.
Code Unknown has parallels with Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland, but Haneke's protagonists don't interact with each other after the opening scene. Subtitled Incomplete Tales Of Several Journeys, the film doesn't attempt to thematically link the disparate tales or offer pretentious moral resolutions. Instead, it simply lets you draw from it what you will - this is, after all, a movie which audaciously runs a two-minute, dialogue-free scene of someone doing their ironing.
A chilling picture of urban disillusionment, Code Unknown's strength is its insistence that, to be realistic, it cannot give easy answers.
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