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IRREVERSIBLE

Posted by Miguel on 2003-10-05 11:28:53
 

So all my bestest friends take off for a free kegger in Kitchener and Im stuck at home, alone, for the entire weekend selling clothes to trophy wives...what is a man to do?

Well I decided that this would be the best time to rent a movie that has been hailed as both vile, revolting shit of the worst kind and CINEMATIC GENIUSSSSSS!

Before I get started on the review, I just want to say that I will now be trying to regularly post reviews of all sorts of movies, for your infotainment. Everything from obscure Japanese horror movies to the lastest blockbusters are gonna be covered here. I have a lot of time on my hands and by gawd im gonna make the best of it. I love movies more than Ganesh itself, and I want to make sure that some precious gems are watched by all my frends.

Now a brief primer on Irreversible. It stars the real life couple of Vincent Cassel (whom you dont know) and Monica Belucci (Ubber Hottie from the second Matrix), and it is directed by Gasper Noe, who is generally viewed by the movie world as a...ummm whats the word im looking for here....oh I got it! a god-damned shit disturber, first class.

You also need to know that audiences of this flick at Cannes and other festivals started walking out in droves, there was spontaneous crying of hardened movie critics and in a couple of occasions nervous vomiting.

Why? well for 4 reasons, im not going to try and spoil a lot of the movie, but you need to know what you are getting into before you rent this:

1. The soundtrack is by Daft Punk and it is specifically designed to upset you and make you feel anxious.....it succeeds. Its a kind of aggressive, industrial-techno that fucks with your head and heart. Turn up the subs in your stereo if you dare.

2. Noe frequently puts the camera on a kind of bungee cord, with lots of extremely quick close ups and mad loops around and around. Vincent Cassel is on ecstacy or something during most of the movie and the camera makes the viewer feel like hes going for the ride as well. Its disorienting, and very effective.

Now for the two biggies:

3. There is a scene in which a mans face is repeatedly bashed in with a fire extinguisher. Its fucking worse than you think believe me.....I have seen an untold number of exploitation flicks and gruesome Japanese and Italian splatterfests, but I have no idea how they pulled this scene off. Apparently some extras on the set called the cops because they thought a man really did die during this scene.

4. Monica Belucci gets anally raped by a gay pimp in a scene that lasts about 6 minutes. The camera, which before was so jumpy and schitzoid, is now left on the ground, motionless.... pointing straight at the Monica and her attacker. I almost started sobbing and crying like crazy during this scene and I paused the movie afterward to try and talk to my girlfriend so that she could comfort me a bit and calm me down. There are many critics that say that rape scenes in movies are depicted in a way that does not reflect the brutal reality of what rape is, a sort of "glossing-over". There is no fucking glossing over here, this is one of the most evil, heart-wrenching, disturbing, fucking horrible things I have ever, ever seen. Monica Belucci deserves much credit here, that scene must have been extremely tough to endure.

But now hold on, dont dismiss this movie as mere mindless exploitation. You see in exploitation the rape and bashing scenes would be the payoff, the big climax after a long buildup. Irreversible is just like Memento, its told backwards so that we see these two events very quickly into the movie, and then we see the buildup to them afterwards (this all takes place during one day). In fact after the rape scene the camera settles down, the music calms and we are slowly shown the decisions, and the events of the day that led up to its tragic conclusion (beggining). Even more importantly, we get some beautiful moments of love and tenderness between Cassel and Belucci early in the morning that just reinforce the heartbreak and horror to come after. The movie begins with an old man saying "time destroys all things" and this message is swiftly and effectively brought home.

So did I like this movie? I think its horrible, and traumatizing. But I also think that this will be one of the movies that influence the next generation of film-makers. Its not for everyone, but if someone here is willing to watch it, THE WHOLE THING, as it is meant to be watched, I would love to discuss it with them afterwards. So if youre tired of watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and other such drivel, give this a shot and try to remember that movies dont always have to be fun, relaxing experiences. Just like books, art and music they can also shock and challenge you.

Oh...and this is NOT A DATE MOVIE, and maybe watching is high like me is not such a hot idea.

Next up, The Rundown: Gods answer to movies.