66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
A film both shocking and exploitive, but also poignant,
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.