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325 of 359 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul shattering
After witnessing the nightmare of Gaspar Noe's "I Stand Alone," a movie that left me in open-mouthed awe for days afterwards, I just knew I had to see "Irreversible." I am not a big foreign film aficionado, not by a long shot, but Noe's films are worth watching simply because they are deeply disturbing jaunts into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. He's not above...
Published on May 20, 2004 by Jeffrey Leach

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325 of 360 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Violent Story of Revenge; NEVER for the Faint-Hearted
Gasper Noe's feature film "Irrersible" is destined to be a topic of hot debate when it was shown in Canne Film Festival. It is reported that during the rape scene that lasts almost 10 minutes, many viewers left the theatre. And there are people who defend it, and people who attack it, as is often the case with this kind of unusual films. However, instead of joining the...
Published on February 27, 2003 by Tsuyoshi


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325 of 359 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul shattering, May 20, 2004
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
After witnessing the nightmare of Gaspar Noe's "I Stand Alone," a movie that left me in open-mouthed awe for days afterwards, I just knew I had to see "Irreversible." I am not a big foreign film aficionado, not by a long shot, but Noe's films are worth watching simply because they are deeply disturbing jaunts into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. He's not above showing life as it really is, and he does it in ways that make you laugh at the cleverness of the presentation even as you cringe in disgust at the subject matter. In other words, his pictures are right up my alley. I always love to watch cinema that challenges the viewer on some level, something rare indeed in an age of the American special effects laden summer blockbusters. That doesn't necessarily mean I always like these types of films; oftentimes I don't when the fine line between challenging and pretentiousness is crossed, but Noe's stuff is great because it is premium grade weirdness. "Irreversible" will remind many viewers of the American film "Memento," except Noe's film is darker, oh so much darker, than that movie.
"Irreversible" flows backwards, with the closing credits opening the film and each scene shown from the end towards the beginning. Right from the start, you know you're going to see something different. Boy, are you ever! A sex club with fleeting sounds and images of pornographic behaviors, a sickening scene of a human head being bashed in with a fire extinguisher, and an arrest quickly start you wondering about what it all means. As the film progresses (regresses?), we learn why one man killed another in that seedy bar. Alex (Monica Bellucci), a rather carefree soul, was brutally raped and beaten by a thuggish French pimp in a subway tunnel. Her boyfriend Marcus (Vincent Cassel) promptly had an emotional meltdown when he discovered what happened to his lovely woman. Full of seething rage, he goes on a rampage through the city looking for the man who maimed Alex. Along for the ride is Pierre (Albert Dupontel), Alex's former boyfriend who desperately attempts to rein in Marcus's reckless quest for vengeance.
Surprises abound in "Irreversible," surprises that will leave you thinking about the film long after it ends. I was a little amazed I figured out how the film concludes (begins, actually) long before I got there. You just knew there had to be some big, explosive revelation that would give Alex's victimization even more pathos. Well, there is and it's quite shocking. In fact, it would have worked almost as well had the film been shown in chronological order. Since Noe chose to reverse the sequence of the scenes, he not only retains the film's shock value but also imbues it with a frequently recurring sense of "what if." If only Marcus had paid more attention to his wife at that party. If only Alex had listened to Pierre and not gone out alone in a dangerous neighborhood. If only, if only, if only. You get the idea. This sense of identification gives the movie its edge. We've all done the same thing, asked the same questions, after a personal tragedy. I know I have.
What shocks even more are the things Gaspar Noe can get away with showing in a French film. The French have little problem with overt pornography, morally repugnant violence, and lengthy discussions on the most intimate details of sexual relationships. Sure, American films are violent and sometimes crass in their discussions of sex, but not like the French films I have seen lately. I can't imagine any mainstream film made here that would show a rape sequence that runs for nearly ten minutes, or the weird goings on in a club. If you have a serious problem with any of these issues, stay far, FAR away from "Irreversible." For that matter, stay just as far away from Noe's "I Stand Alone," a movie that shows in gruesome detail a murder/suicide. I will say that the filmmaker does not in anyway attempt to glorify the vicious acts of cruelty and barbarism he depicts in his movies. That doesn't mean it makes these incidents any easier to watch, however.
"Irreversible" is a shocker on many levels, a film not suited to a majority of the movie going public. It's not the sort of movie you would take a date to, or watch with members of your family unless you're a member of the Manson family. It should go without saying that Noe's picture is not suitable for young children. I recommend watching "Irreversible" alone so that it becomes a personal experience. I don't know what Gaspar Noe will come out with next, or if he'll ever make another film again, but I want to see it whatever it ends up being. If you haven't seen "I Stand Alone" before watching this one, make sure you see it soon. Fans of this type of cinema should also check out "Baise-Moi," another French film filled with even greater amounts of nihilism and despair than this one.
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325 of 360 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Violent Story of Revenge; NEVER for the Faint-Hearted, February 27, 2003
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
Gasper Noe's feature film "Irrersible" is destined to be a topic of hot debate when it was shown in Canne Film Festival. It is reported that during the rape scene that lasts almost 10 minutes, many viewers left the theatre. And there are people who defend it, and people who attack it, as is often the case with this kind of unusual films. However, instead of joining the debate, I would like to tell what I saw on screen as I remember, even though I was curiously attracted to the ultra-violent story of revenge.
The story, which director Noe thought of very casually, is very simple in itself. Beautiful Alex (Monica Bellucci, real-life wife to Vincent Cassel) is a fiancee of fun-loving Marcus (Vincent Cassel), but one night after a party Alex is raped by a man and moreover her face is heavily smashed by the guy to make her unconscious. Knowing that, Marcus hurries to the culprit with his friend Pierre to a bar for the most violent kind of revenge in the movie history.
Now I warn you. The rape/revenge scenes are both so intense and realistic that some of you might get sick during the course even though you happen to know that Noe used CGIs to enhance the effect of violence. But to be fair, these scenes are, I thought, overlong but nothing gratuitous. Still, it looks as if the director wallows in making us feel uncomfortable, and I admire, without any sarcasm, his skiils so good at that.
Another unusual aspect of the film is that the story goes chronologically backward. Noe insists on this idea so much that what you see first on screen is "the end credit" which rolls up (and see many names of cast, which are printed the wrong way). And you will first see the result of revenge, then revenge itself, and then the cause of the revenge ... and so on. The trip is exactly from hell to heaven, which we know is about to collapse.
And the camera, especially during the first 30 minutes, goes on rolling around so that you may feel seasickness. The rotating motion is NOT that of handy camera of "Blair Witch Project," but the fact remains that we feel very uncomfortable, and we have that subject matter. The noise-like soundtrack is also effective to make us feel uneasy -- like David Lynch's films -- and the actors are so terrifyingly convincing including the rapist Jo Prestia (professinal actor and ex-boxer).
Some audiences try to defend the film by saying that Noe is only trying to tell the truth, and if so, he clearly made his point. And I can understand that viewpoint -- we have seen an equally unsettling rape scene in one Jodie Foster film; and as for violence, Oscar winner Steven Spielberg is not a stranger to violence if you remember his WW2 film. But those films never brought the violence to the forefront as Gasper Noe did. In a sense, that is an admirable thing. But if you want to pay some money for seeing that ... well, if depends. I just happened to think so.
From the purely technical point of view, Director Noe shows his ability to create an unnerving atmosphere. The film is shot in a unique way -- using only one shot for each scene -- so, after one scene starts, it goes on till the scene changes to the next. As this now very rarely used method is employed -- though some of them are the result of post-production work, which pieced together some different takes -- each shot is consequently very long, causing us another reason for having to be patiently following the ever-moving camera, which easily beats that of Brian DePalma.
For all its techinical achievement, "Irreversible" suffers from its own methond of storytelling. Compared with the violent first half, the latter peaceful part looks inevitably much weaker. Sometimes, the back-through-time tactics create an original effect; when we see too frivolous Marcus, who ignores the presence of Alex at party, we feel sense of tragedy and folly of humans, as we know what is going to happen after that scene. The film has some unexpected moments when we think -- imagining "what if" situations which, as you know, are always very futile attempts of humans as every history tells. And of course, I know that by the combination of Alex's heaven and hell, Noe is making his own commentary about our life. The film tells us twice on screen "Time destroys everything" and, right, that's another point. But I am afraid the method is too simple and too obvious, and doesn't hold well not least after such intense violence.
Still you want to see? OK, then, here's some tips for you that might make you understand this one better, which I quote from the booklet I bought at mutiplex in Japan. 1) Noe thought of the concept of "Irreversible" in May, 2001, using Cassel and possibly Bellucci. But as she was to work for two "Matrix" films from September, he had very short time to prepare for actual shooting. 2) They shot the sequences chronologically, I mean in this case, from "heaven" to "hell." 3) You see Philippe Nahon as ex-butcher, who was in Noe's previous films. The dialgues are all ad-lib. 4) Noe had difficulties in "ending" the film (in this case, the most peaceful scene of Mercus and Alex making love). There seem to have been several versions, but he decided on the present one, which shows a poster of one masterpiece film. That film's director, now gone for some years, is famous for a film starring Malcolm McDowell, who played a role of "Alex" -- well, Noe must respect Stanley Kubrick.
As a whole, for my part, I confess I was very much impressed with the film. But because of the nature of the film, I cannot "recommend" this one to you. I wrote down what I know. That's why I give only three stars.
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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film both shocking and exploitive, but also poignant, August 3, 2004
By 
A. Sandoc "sussarakhen" (San Pablo, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
Gaspar Noe's Irreversible is filmed in the same style as Christopher Nolan's excellent Memento. With the story unfolding in reverse sequence, the audience's first impression of the story doesn't end up being the same once it finishes.

Everyone has made it a point to mention the disturbing and hard-to-watch sodomizing that Monica Bellucci's character goes through at the hands of a random, strung-out stranger. This 10-minute sequence is as disturbing as any film sequence I have ever had the chance to watch. There is absolutely no feeling of lust or sexiness this scene brings up. A sense of shock, disgust and pain is more appropriate reaction to seeing the lovely Ms. Bellucci's character go through a very inhumane experience. This scene goes a long way to explaining the film's beginning where a brutal and equally inhumane murder takes place inside a murky, red-lit, underground gay S&M club.

As the film continues to move backwards in time and shows the viewer the earlier and happier time of Bellucci's and Vincent Cassel's characters, the earlier scenes of violence take on a more poignant and sad note. In a space of a day many lives are broken and destroyed, and in the end all because of a random night occurrence in an dingy, lit underpass.

Gaspar Noe's film is not for everyone and even those daring enough to take a chance to view it will have a hard time sitting through the first half of the film. The film itself takes on a dream-like quality as it begins to unfold. From its nightmarish tone and look to a dreamy last reel. I have heard people call Noe's film as exploitive and misogynistic in its treatment of its main female character. In the end, Noe's choice to shoot the rape scene so realistic and have it linger and linger shows the viewer that evil and ugly things do happen in real life. One either takes it and learn from it or turn away and pretend it never happened.

Irreversible is a film that people will either love or hate. This film doesn't straddle the center when it comes to viewers reaction to it. Gaspar Noe's film is not perfect, but overall it provokes the viewer to think on what they've seen and felt as the story unfolded.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting,to say the least, March 15, 2004
By 
adriana "alisa" (Los Angeles,CA,USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
I can't deny that Irreversible is an interesting,intriguing film. It is definately original, and well put together.It also happens to include a scene of brutal violence,involving a man's head beaten down to the bones with a fire extinguisher, and an absolutely heart wrenching rape scene that lasts for something of 10 minutes, involving the gorgeous Monica Bellucci.
I feel that the ULTRA violence is crucial to the way the film works, because, since the movie runs in reverse sequence,a la Memento, you start out with the bloody violent end, and "end" with the clean,pure,and happy beginning. That is one of the top reasons I praise this film; its ability to take you from a place so dark and sinister you couldn't even imagine, into a peacful world without blinking once, and losing its intensity.Also,I want to add that I can understand how some would be turned off by the heavy content of the rape scene, but don't go calling it gratituous,or revolting. Rape is a SERIOUS,SERIOUS crime, and I'm sick of it being glossed over in the movies.If you find it revolting,then don't pick a movie that deals with the subject.Seriously, people, it's time that rape was handled honestly in a film.Safe to say, this film achieves that to the max.
Director Gaspar Noe masterfully creates a dark,creepy,sinister atmosphere through the use of lighting,soundtrack and nauseating camera shifts.The actors also seem very natural in their roles-it really doesn't feel like they're acting at all, which is the case with many European films of quality.Monica Bellucci is lovely and full of inexplicable,irresistible charm.Towards the end of the film, where you get to know these people prior to the horrific events that took place, you see a vivid portrait of a young couple.Vincent Cassel, who is Bellucci's real life husband, worked well alongside Monica as her boyfriend in the film.The film created a compelling,tender portrait of their relationship, making it all the more heart wrenching to think of the way things turned out.The film's reverse order workes perfectly, and I believe the film would not have achieved it's effect without this technique.
All in all, I'll say that the latter,toned down parts towards the film's end do not pale at all in comparison to the film's brutal beginning.They're just different, putting it mildly.Another interesting prospect the film brings up through a series of hints, and silent gestures, is that perhaps all this horror was just imagined inside the female protagonist's head.Pretty to think so, ain't it?
Irreversible is not for the squeamish, but if you're up for an interesting,altogether different film, see it once.I'm not going to call it a work of art, or claim it as life-changing.What it is, however, is a worthy, albeit challenging film that will leave you truly immersed in thought.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Disturbing, March 15, 2004
By 
Shaun Malone (Tremonton, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
This movie was very difficult to watch. I don't think that I have ever seen a more violent opening seen or quite as disturbing rape scene. The movie is well laid out and at the end you almost have contradictory feelings because you see the couple when everything is ok, but at the same time you know what is going to happen later that night. The reason I didn't give this movie 5 stars is because of the camera work at the very beginning of the movie. I think that the varying angles were used to help illustrate the insanity of the situation, but to me it seemed a little over done. I also was confused by the very end of the movie and have heard people say that it could be a dream, but I am not sure I saw it that way.
Either way very moving, very disturbing movie.
If you do decide to watch it, be warned that there is extreme violence and some not so main stream sexual acts.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irreversible, June 14, 2004
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
Irreversible is a film that explores the deep pain that human life can have, through extreme violence and sexuality.
I have wanted to see this movie for quite a long time, but due to it's graphic nature, (and strong rating) I have not been able to watch it...until now. Incredible performances by all 3 leads, especially Monica Bellucci. This woman has such an amazing beauty that sometimes her look is overpowered by her performance, but in this film, both work for her.
You've already heard the story of this film by now, the movie (which is told backwards) is about a woman who got raped in an underpass in Paris. When her 2 closest male friends find out, they both search for the person who violated their best friend.
You've already got WARNING written all over this movie because of its graphic violence and strong sexuality. If you have seen Requiem for a Dream, this one is similar to that but just 100x more disturbing. Gaspar Noe's direction is great but completely all over the place, with an enormous amount of camera spins and dizzying movement, which is placed at the beginning of the film.
Kudos goes out to the Visual FX team for making the fire extinguisher scene truly disturbing and increbibly hard to watch. The featurette, on the DVD, of how they made that scene work is amazing, from using different layers, all the way to prosthetics. The sound editing of this film is great (especially in that scene) which makes the bashing sounds so hard and grusome that you have just got to turn your head away. The rape scene is also hard to watch as it seems to go on for an eternity. I can't get enough of Bellucci's performance in that scene, where she just gave everything that she had into making it seem belivable and sad all at the same time. (special mention also goes out to Jo Prestia)
Gaspar Noe is a director that is for sure a force to be reckoned with. I have not seen his other film 'I Stand Alone' (where the subject matter, from what I've heard, is the same) but for sure, I have got to check that one out. Noe dives into the deepest emotion that a person can have and presents them with brutal honesty. Even if you don't want to admit it, these things happen all the time, to the most unsuspecting people and I belive that Noe made this film because life is not always filled with rainbows and happy people; life is difficult, and for him to shed light on issues and events that most individuals would not even want to tackle, is brave and admirable.
Overall, Irreversible is a work of art; filled with great performances, visual fx and direction.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simple, courageous genius, August 4, 2006
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
I never thought I would be giving 5 stars to a film so sickening that I never want to see it again, but here it is. How can I NOT give the highest rating to a film so emotionally vile, that it made me physically kind of nauseaus to watch it, and yet I could not tear my eyes off this film? I can't think of any other movie that's ever had such a striking effect on me. And on others, obviously.

A lot of people call this movie perverted, gratuitous, pretentious. Well, here is what I want to ask - what is truly sicker, depicted violence that hooks 13-year-old kids, that makes moviegoers whoop with glee, and makes them want to see more of it? OR, violence that is depicted so faithful to reality, that it makes people physically ill, that makes people denounce it, and never want to see it again? What do you think those two scenarios represent? The first, in my eyes, is standard Hollywood violence, whereas the second scenario is Irreversible. And how would REAL violence make most normal people feel? Would a healthy, normal person enjoy watching a real beating, or a real rape? Or would he/she be disgusted and disturbed?

Well, the reason I believe Irreversible is a very brave film and quite genius, is because it courageously depicts violence as it really is and makes the viewer feel a TRUE reaction... That first 30 minutes is very difficult to watch, and the use of motion-sickness-inducing camera angles, along with very disturbing audio, all cleverly combine to induce that feeling of unease and nausea in the viewer that makes the experience REALISTIC. I've never seen anything like it before. Objectively, cheap horror movies depict worse violence than in this movie, but never do people react in such a visceral way. With good reason.

And, that visceral emotional reaction that this film induces, is why it really is a valuable work of art, and NOT merely some cheesy crap made for shock value. Those who think otherwise either don't understand the point of the film (I am disturbed, if they didn't have such a reaction to this film!), or perhaps they were so disturbed by their own reaction that they wallow in denial of their emotions by denying the artistry of this film.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie but unnerving as all hell, June 20, 2006
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This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
I should start by saying don't let the practically naked woman on the cover of the DVD / VCR case fool you, this is not erotica. The rape scene made me cringe and I'm a guy - not to sound male chauvinist or anything but I can only imagine how horrifying it would be for a woman to watch this movie (actually this would be a great movie for any young man to watch only because if the man has even a sliver of a conscience it should help prevent him from participating in any date-rape situations in the future - in that sense I would go so far as to say this film is required viewing only to show people just how horrific rape really is and, much as I hate the idea of scaring women, also to show young women just how dangerous it is to put themselves in situations where they could be at risk). Don't assume that the other reviewers who have said the same thing are being overly sensitive or too politically correct either - I'm dead serious the rape scene is horrifyingly, horrifyingly graphic. That's pretty much the only "sex" scene so to speak (and I use the word loosely there) so again, this is not erotica if you're looking for that rent a porn movie instead. Having said that I was moved by this film - the fact that I was horrified shows that it had an effect on me, which is what any good film should do. If you're a fan of say, Law and Order- Special Victims Unit for example and want to see stories about the real life monsters (e.g. rapists, molesters and so forth) you'll probably like this film. I was very disappointed that the rapist (I know I'm overusing the word but I'll use it again - horrifyingly depicted as a depraved, chilling utter evil wretch of a human being, regardless of whether or not he was high on drugs at the time) didn't get what was coming to him, the [...] made a clean getaway - it adds to the overall "scariness" (for lack of a better word) of the film, it's all too sad but no doubt very true that scum like this guy avoid punishment for their deeds out in the "real" world as well. Ultimately that's what makes the film effective and what makes you feel like you've been punched in the gut after watching it - it's a depiction of what can, and probably does, happen out here in the "real" world.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Viewer discretion advised for Irreversible., January 25, 2004
By 
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
Irreversible was recommended to me by a friend and I did not read any of the reviews on Amazon.com. This was a serious mistake. I was unpleasantly surprised by the quality of this film by director Gaspar Noe. One viewing is not enough to understand the intentions of the director and the meaning, if there is any, of the movie. Before watching this film viewers should know:
1. The action begins at the end in violence and chaos and moves to the beginning, a montage of the starry heavens.
2. Chaos is the existential theme of this film. Any meaning to life must be individually determined by each person. God is dead and everthing is permitted. The conclusion we must reach is that the director believes the world is a violent and malevolent place and even if we are careful to avoid disaster, this is not always possible. Adults know this and don't need to be assualted by senseless violence and despicable behavior to be convinced that we can't be too careful. Suffering is universal and can't be avoided. In Irreversible, suffering is chaotic and meaningless. Revenge adds to suffering.
3. For those who want to decide for themselves what to think of the backward progression of the plot in Irreversible, the following is a summary of events from beginning to end -- reverse this list and you will start at the beginning of the film.
A. We see a montage of a spiraling universe which disolves into a scene of Alex, a beautiful young woman reading on the grass in an idyllic scene with children playing around her.
B. We cut to her apartment and her boyfriend Marcus. They are in bed and he tells her he wants to have anal sex with her. This admission will be important as the story progresses.
C. We move to a party where we are introduced to her former boyfriend Pierre, a philosopher, if we can believe it. He appears to be a somewhat shy person who is genuinely interested in Alex, in contrast to Marcus, an immature, self-centered, childish person who gets high on drugs and drink.
D. Alex leaves the party and tries to cross a busy street in Paris, I think. She decides instead to take an underground passage to cross the street and meets there a pimp called La Tenia. This man brutally rapes Alex anally, a recurring theme in the film. The rape is the longest "set piece" in the film and is gratuitous in its extended violence. Alex is beaten almost to death by La Tenia after the rape. Along with Marcus and Pierre, we watch Alex being taken to the hospital by an ambulance.
E. Marcus is determined to have revenge against the person who assaulted Alex and goes on a search, with his friend Pierre, to find this person.
F. Marcus determines that La Tenia assaulted Alex and he goes to a gay establishment called "The Rectum" to find him. In The Rectum anal sex is the norm, of course. The Rectum appears to be a recreation of Dante's Inferno.
G. La Tenia is talking with another person in The Rectum and this unidentified man is first assaulted by Marcus, who believes the man is La Tenia. This person deliberately breaks Marcus's arm before the unknown man is assaulted by Pierre. Pierre takes a large fire extinguisher and smashes the head and face of the unknown person beyond recognition, killing him in the process. This scene is among the most violent any person is likely to see at the movies.
H. The police come and take Marcus away to the hospital and arrest Pierre for murder. Pierre is told by people in the crowd that he will be anally assaulted in prison.
The movie begins with the arrest of Pierre and works its way backward to the idyllic scene of Alex reading on the grass and then the apparent chaos of the starry heavens.
4. For the most part the director has shot this film with hand held cameras giving the audience a feel for the chaos of life. The rape scene is one exception. A stationary camera is used to allow us to focus on the violence we witness.
5. The background music is also unpleasant and chaotic, supposedly mirroring what we are witnessing.
6. Only the largest of TV screens will allow the viewer to experience what the director has in mind for us. This film is meant to be seen in a theater where our senses will be truly assaulted.
7. This film is unrated, but the rating should be For Adults Only. Most adults are going to rate this film objectionable in the extreme.
Summary: If I had read this review, I would not have watched the film. Life is unpleasant enough without adding unnecessary grief when we expect entertainment. Irreversible is NOT entertainment. It is a close up and personal look at hell on earth. It is a punishing, not a pleasurable experience.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Experience that you'll NEVER forget, January 17, 2006
By 
This review is from: Irreversible (DVD)
I'd seen this movie just the other night, and even now there are images from the film flashing in my head.......... (Breath) .................. The movie is incredibly violent. I was amazed and simultaneously disgusted. "Irreversible" is the kind of movie that I thought was horribly devastating and wonderfully good at the same time. It really had a lasting effect on me. What is impressive about the movie is its realism. The majority of the movie is completely improvised; it is shot in real lighting. These realistic aspects make it more devastating. I just like to note: in the movie that the guy who came around the tunnel and saw the rape and just took off got me angrier the most.

Irreversible" is definitely a serious piece of film making. It is raw, emotional, powerful, and shocking. The use of flashbacks is sequential - we see the 'end' scene first, then the scene that led up to it, then the scene that led up to that, and so on. It is full of disturbing images and innovative camera techniques. It can be described as a journey from hell to heaven. We start in reverse by seeing--at the beginning of the film--terrible scenes that are the conclusion of events we have yet to witness in flashback, slowly moving us from nightmare to bliss. The revenge scene is very hard to take, but it makes sense, and is definitely justified, as the almost nonexistent plot unfolds. Halfway through the scene, I realized I couldn't take it anymore, and had to turn away. No matter how hard I shut my eyes and shifted myself, the pulsing soundtrack of the beating blared out of the speakers, making it just as uncomfortable with my eyes closed. Terrifying and disgusting just doesn't cut it, the effect is indescribable. The rape scene is where the camera is motionless. The movement and struggle of the victim - for nine long minutes -becomes paramount. Monica Bellucci is a brilliant actress because she conveys the pain and anguish this character is going through, making us feel for her. It all seems a bit too real and is definitely one of the most disturbing scenes in motion picture history, becoming a bit much to take.

The saddest part to me is towards the end because the main characters are interacting with each like it's a normal day and they don't know what's coming. But we do. Nevertheless, with the strong impact this film causes, it does make you to think very seriously about what it shows you. Some people may just not have the stomach for such a BIG attack of the senses but I only recommend to those who can. If you're wondering if I would watch it again I probably would because I do own the DVD.
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