This thriller from the early 2000's is a dark look at the cruel side of reality that presents revenge, agony, and despair. Because of this I walked away from this movie with a negative opinion. All of those themes I picked up on made the production and overall quality a little too unrealistic for my liking. Long story short, this french flick was very controversial upon its release and still is to this day.
I don't really know how to rate this because while I can fully appreciate it from a technical standpoint, the extreme nature of the film is something that's much harder to scale down. It's not easy to watch to say the least – probably the single most traumatic film experience I have ever had – but the sheer weight and lasting effect it has is undeniable.
As a technical film, sure, I get it. The camerawork is pretty when it isn't dizzying, and the plot structure is fascinating even though Memento did it the year before. Beyond that, this isn't good. It's clear that the film has no script because the dialogue is so improvised and ridiculous. This is violence for the sake of violence and there's no place for it. Congrats, you got a reaction. I'm done with this.
I saw this before it ever came to the states and thought it would never screen. This is pretty rough stuff. Exposited in reverse, Noe seeks to provoke. It is about fate and choices made, unpredictability and the interconnectedness of things. While I was shaken, I afterward found the reverse order and trauma brought an unexpected thoughtfulness and calm to my interactions with the world. It is a subversive masterpiece
Wow...I've only just started to discover Gaspar Noe, but I have to say there is nothing else quite like him, at least nothing I'm seeing, this was riveting and disturbing and painful, but I do find myself thinking of the films days and weeks after I watch them - and to me that is so impressive, loved the end...powerful stuff, really one of a kind and I'm looking forward to watching his next film
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a harder time with a film, especially one this worthy of praise. This is a brutal film, but, despite it’s reputation, not one without tenderness and beauty. One of the most overused phrases in criticism is “like nothing you’ve ever seen before.” I think I can honestly use that phrase in application to this film.
The most unnerving aspect of this film wasn't either of the two notorious scenes (both of which were actually tamer than I was expecting), but the extreme contrast between the first half and the second half -- the hellish and the halcyon -- and the reminder that every single one of us could be weeks, days, or mere hours away from a tragic or traumatic event that we can't foresee or prevent ... or reverse.
What a movie. Gaspar Noé is a cinematic genius. The idea of going backwards in the story here works so intelligently, with the characters truly revealing to us bit by bit; the more we investigate into their past, the more we discover who they really are and how they really behave. As a result, the emotional level of the whole journey reaches the highest peaks. Benoît Debie's psychedelic camera work does the rest.