Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 7.4 10 107376


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April 07, 2019 at 09:33 AM



Vincent Cassel as Marcus
Gaspar Noé as Client du Rectum
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787.76 MB
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1hr 37 min
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1hr 37 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbborroughs 10 / 10

Cinematic Torture

If movies are suppose to effect the viewer then this movie is king of the hill. From the dis-orienting camera moves that open the film through the violence in the gay bar, the seemingly never ending rape and the films unraveling of the days events in a backwards march I have yet to meet anyone who has not been deeply effected by this movie - if they were brave enough or stupid enough to watch it. (I'm still trying to figure out a local Best Buy displaying a large number of DVD's as if it was the latest Adam Sandler movie)

It is not an easy movie to watch but as an examination of what people are capable and how violence can come from nowhere and from the unexpected its a masterpiece. The backward structure takes what is essentially a dull revenge story and turns it on its ear as we are forced to really examine how things get out of hand very quickly and what people will do when pushed to the limit.

If you want a challenge to your psyche and can brave simply some of the most vicious and nasty screen violence (yes its graphic but much is also implied) then see this movie - preferably with out distraction. But be warned, even if you think you know what this movie is about and what your limits in screen violence is, you still won't be prepared for what a mental hot foot this film is.

Reviewed by sackleywhistle 9 / 10

Stick with it - not enjoyable, but admirable

After notorious walkouts at Cannes and the controversy around the difficult, long, unrelenting rape scene, this was high on my must-see list of the last year. Not for voyeuristic reasons, but because, like A Clockwork Orange before it, the most controversial films are often those with the most to say.

This is not a date movie. Nor is it a pleasant, enjoyable experience. It is, however, pure cinema from a director working at the highest technical level, with the camera, with lighting, with makeup, with scripting and with performance.

Irreversible is that rare beast, a self-contained experience which goes beyond the cinematic and aesthetic to show something real, both touching and frightening, beautiful and horrific, simple and innovative. The first twenty minutes are among the toughest you will encounter on the screen. The sound whines and hums, the camera spins in all directions, disorientating and showing glimpses of the scene. Dialogue is sparse, the same lines being repeated over and over again. The subject matter is unpleasant, taking place in a seedy gay club, the protagonists (Dupontel and Cassel) searching for someone called the Tenia (named after a tape-worm). And when they find him, there is a sequence which lasts maybe two minutes which is incredibly difficult to watch, yet difficult not to watch. Almost in disbelief, you cannot believe what you are watching is happening, yet marvel at how real it is, both technically and in terms of human character.

Beyond that, the film does not let up for about another half an hour, as the backwards-played story begins to piece itself together, leading to an act of provocation unrivalled in cinema history. My second viewing of the film was with a 21-year-old female who found it the hardest scene she had ever watched. It is the details of the rape that make it so shocking - her constant crying and squirming, his inherent joy at her discomfort, his pinning of her arms and gagging her mouth, the passer-by who sees the scene and walks away, unbeknownst to either of them. And when the long, unsettling scene is over, the greatest act of destruction occurs - the destruction of purity and beauty. Yet, as the film is told backwards, when the rape is over, we know there is more to come as we have already seen the aftermath. The brilliance is in naively praying it won't happen, resigned to the knowledge that it will.

My co-viewer demanded that we stop the film there but i had to insist that she finish the film. Without following the film through to the end(or the beginning), we would not know the reason that the director put these scenes in front of us. For me the greatest scenes are those that follow - the party scene, the subway journey of the three main characters, the post-dream awakening of the central couple - because they lift the film out of enfant terrible provocation and into a place of simultaneous beauty and pessimism, making sense of the journey all three characters are about to embark on. In particular the significance of dreams is a key theme, along with the linear, destructive power of time which the whole film is playing around with.

The film ends with the most difficult sequence to watch, the spinning beautiful image of Monica Bellucci prior to any of the events of the film followed by a strobe light effect which is physically difficult to watch, burning images and words into the brain.

Clearly Noe is a director intent on provoking a reaction and - thank God - it is impossible not to react to this film. You may hate it, you may admire it or you may be disgusted by it. All of these are perfect reactions to it. You cannot be indifferent to it. While it is undoubtedly a hard film to sit through, if you put in the effort it rewards in dividends. And it not only deserves but really requires multiple viewings, if you can stomach it. There is far more than can be taken in on the first visit, much to decipher and interpret that I will not spoil here.

While it does seem to reference the controversy of the aforementioned Kubrick classic - taking the violence and sexual abuse aspects to new levels, updating for a new generation - and even directly tips its hat to Kubrick - panning down from a poster of 2001 as classical music swells, before going into a psychadelic head-trip - this is a much harder, yet more humane film than Kubrick ever achieved. There is unpleasantness here, do not be fooled, but there is also insightful comment on the nature of humanity, instinct, violence, even love and relationships which alone makes the film worthy of appreciation. It is not a film all will be able to sit through - for a start, its subtitled! - but it is a film which deserves to be seen at least once by anyone with an appreciation of cinema. It is among the finest examples of modern French cinema available and one of the most intelligent and original films from anywhere in the last five years.

Finally, it wouldn't be right to hail the film without mentioning the performers. Monica Bellucci is outstanding in an undoubtedly difficult part, conveying the beauty, intelligence, womanliness, emotion and despair of Alex in a way that never screams "Moviestar!" and is always believable. Dupontel is wonderful in perhaps the film's most interesting role, a complex intellectual who, it is often overlooked, gives in to his most primal urges. He is sad, smart, witty and ultimately disturbed. But highest praise goes to Cassel, one of the most interesting actors working, who carries most of the film, emitting charm, energy, fear, shock, humour and weakness. It is hard not to focus on him in any given scene and impossible to catch him acting, high praise indeed given the other subjects which often fill the screen (not least the stunning Bellucci). Together, they are prime examples of true actors giving themselves over completely to their characters in a way that the likes of Nicole Kidman simply can't. They may be stars, but they are first and foremost brilliant performers.

Take caution, but do not miss if you get the chance.

Reviewed by Smells_Like_Cheese 10 / 10

The 3 H's: Horrifc, Haunting and Honest

A few months ago while I was going through the message boards on IMDb, someone was talking about disturbing films and one that seemed to come up the most was a film called Irreversible. This film has come up in discussion so many times when the subject of disturbing film is brought to attention. When I think I've seen the worst of the worst, I figured I should see what Irreversible had to offer. I have to admit after watching this movie, it stayed with me. Definitely not being the easiest movie to watch, Irreversible has a style to it and a very disturbing story that can haunt many for different reasons. Wither it's the extreme violence, the cursing, the drugs or the 9 minute rape scene, Gasper Noe takes you into this very dark world and doesn't let you go.

The beginning of Irreversible (that is, the chronological end of the story) features two men going to a homosexual S&M nightclub called "The Rectum." Minutes earlier, the men named Marcus and Pierre, are escorted out of that nightclub by the police. Marcus is on a stretcher, apparently injured, and Pierre is in handcuffs. Earlier that evening, Marcus and Pierre arrived at the club in a frantic search for somebody nicknamed le Tenia. Marcus finds the man believed to be le Tenia and attacks him. The man pins down Marcus, then snaps his arm. Pierre rescues Marcus by bludgeoning the attacker's face using a fire extinguisher, brutally and fatally crushing the man's skull after repeated blows. During the onslaught, the real le Tenia is seen to be amused by the situation. It is revealed that le Tenia raped Marcus's girlfriend Alex, and placed her in a coma by beating her severely.

Filmed backwards I thought was extremely brilliant, at least the way I interpret it. We see EXTREME violence and sexuality in the beginning, pretty much being up front that this movie is going to be very uncomfortable and not a movie for all. Gasper Noe is basically telling the audience "what you see is what you get", not trying to pull you into something you might not want to be apart of. It also shows that these two men who kill this man violently are possibly the bad guys? No, it turns out as we discover that a woman they both love has been brutally raped and beaten. Then when we meet her, she's not just some woman who is the girlfriend of one of men trying to get revenge or a girl at a party dressed in a skimpy outfit, this is a woman who is walking out of a party trying to get home and comes across the "wrong place, wrong time" situation. The rape scene, reason being that it's so different than any other rape scene you might have viewed in another film, it's long, one angle and the words that come out of the rapist's mouth are just awful. It's the most realistic rape scene I've viewed and I have to warn you that please, if you have a weak stomach or have had that horrific experience, this is not a movie for you.

Irreversible is definitely violent, there is a scene that most people debate which is more disturbing, the rape or the fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher is at the beginning of the film and is definitely realistic and beyond disturbing, because you see everything. Also the hatred behind the killer is just there, he has no remorse for what he is doing. Then when we find out later that he kills the wrong guy, it just makes it that more brutal. Gasper Noe also films the movie in the worst way in the beginning making the audience sick with his spinning camera and disturbing noises. He doesn't lie to you, he knows this film is going to be one of the most frightening pieces of work you'll see, and he doesn't want you comfortable with it. Irreversible is one of the hardest films for me to recommend because it just depends on what kind of a viewer you are. If you can handle extreme violence, sexuality and language, you could get through this. I watched A Clockwork Orange when I was a teenager and hated it because I felt that Kubrick was trying to make me sympathize with Alex, before watching Irreversible, I re-watched A Clockwork Orange and realized I missed the whole message of the film. It wasn't about Alex, but our society and I have the greatest admiration for the film now. Irreversible shows how we can go from hating someone to understanding their position to rooting for them. Are we the animals? Irreversible will have you thinking for days, this is a film I will never forget.


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