March 28, 2003

Irreversible (2002)

"Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. Her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands by hiring two criminals to help them find the rapist so that they can exact revenge. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect, and how time destroys everything."

I just hired this disgusting French movie from Netflix so I thought I'd better say something about it.

It has Vincent Cassell in it and I like him, but it isn't a nice film. The subject matter is nasty, and the artsy-fartsy filming is even worse. Even the seemingly never ending and unreadable backwards credits annoyed me. You have to fast forward for ten minutes until the action starts!

There is a good scene where some gay pimp gets his head smashed in with a fire extinguisher though. "Lush!" I thought. You can even see the flesh coming away in chunks and hanging off his skull. It's just a pity that the rest of the film doesn't match up.

The acting is generally pretty good and, yes, the rape scene is particularly brutal. I don't like watching things like that even if it only is acting. The whole thing is too long. I know it's the most important part of the story, but I got bored with it and even had to fast forward through this too eventually. Monica Bellucci is, of course, still incredible.

Everything after that is pretty non-eventful. Just some more characterisation after the fact and a couple of ironic comments. You certainly couldn't recut the scenes back into the correct chronological order and make a good film out of all this, but with all the arthouse stuff thrown in, I suppose it works.

I don't really know what to rate "Irreversible". It's ambitious, flawed, nasty and it made me feel a bit seasick. 4 out of 10 will do because, as much as like French movies, I don't think this is a very good one and probably shouldn't be watched by anyone.

Yeah, I know you all want to see it now.

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