Just a brutal alcohol and drug-fueled downward spiral into madness existing in every society. You will never see Monica Bellucci in a white dress the same again. It's been panned and criticized to no end, but its explorations into violence and time makes it an overlooked classic in my book.
This film is mostly famous for its horrific rape scene. That scene really is terrifying, but what it should be famous for is letting us physically feel the true brutality of violence through it's insane cinematography and sound. It feels so cynical and cruel, but that is exactly what violence is. It is such a physical film, so watch this in a cinema or with really good sound (and then never watch it again).
five starts for impressive, experimental cinematography and a couple of very hard-hitting, powerful, deeply disturbing scenes. the rest: the whole story revolves around a boggeyman rapist with an added layer of homophobia, layered on thick in the opening scene. In reality, the 1 in 3 women who are assaulted would likely be assaulted by one of the two main characters at the party rather than by a pimp in an alley.
Like Memento, Birdman & A Clockwork Orange all at once, and Birdman is the film it is like the least.... IF you can get through it, you will find that it is MUCH more than just another snuff film. I for one found myself VERY impressed by the actors, crew & director, who managed to pull off such an EXCRUCIATING sequence. Despite my discomfort I feel...better..knowing that I got through it. Proceed with caution.
This film ascends from the pits of hell to discover the reasons why. I can't say I enjoyed the beginning, it was pretty gut wrenching stuff. I thought I'd seen pretty realistic violence until I saw this but somehow the end justifies the means. An amazing piece of filmmaking which I'll only watch once !
I purposely didn't see this when it came out because of the rape scene. Years later, I have. It was as brutal and harrowing as I thought. The scenes of the nightclub I had not known about, and that was equally awful. Between the really shaky camera shots, and the final act of brutality, I nearly stopped watching. You then get a 2nd half thats almost placid, again, unexpected. I just don't know. I need to mull.
The film offers a unique perspective by choosing to explore the narrative in reverse. With loaded eyes, we see the past with the unique foresight of the future and therefore project a kind of portended sympathy upon the characters in the film. This works well and is in direct opposition to the film's actual title. The rape scene is disturbing, but the emotional investment pays off. Cassel and Bellucci are stunning!!
Irreversible is an ugly, brutal and compelling journey underground, through grainy red-saturated tunnels and clubs (in particular the aptly named 'Rectum' nightclub), unforgettably filmed and with brilliant performances from Cassel and Bellucci . This - fairly unsubtle - work has become the hallmark of New French Extreme, horrific and beautiful in equal measures, the film reversing from darkness to the light of day.
Formally interesting, sure. Also, an act of emotional violence against the audience. To watch this without turning away nauseated is basically a psychopathy diagnosis on the cheap. You won't be any better, or cooler, or edgier for watching this, but you will be a little deader inside. And you will owe Gaspar Noé a punch in the face.
I really don't get the praise that is heaped onto Noe. I think he got the balance right in his first film but now he just seems to want to shock his viewers for the sake of it, and throw in a gimmick to make them think that it has a high artistic value. If creating a sense of nausea during watching his films makes you a genius then he most certainly is.