Irréversible (Gaspar Noé, 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.
After all this time, I've finally got to sit to watch Gaspar Noé's most widely known film: Irréversible. Staring two of the best French actors of their generation, and a couple in real life, Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel give striking performances as the onscreen couple that gets their life completely change over one shitty night. Let's say it like this. As the film is legendary known to be edited in reverse, the scenes are in the unchronological order, their are not that many things to spoil for the reader who never watch this unforgettable film.
Let's get this out, this is disturbing, violent, and two particular scenes that probably anyone who has ever heard of this knows; the famous brutal murder scene with the fire extinguisher and the crude rape scene where Bellucci might have given her life changing performance and probably the worst scene to act for a woman. It looks so true that at some point, we believe it is happening in front of our eyes. There are two things I have to say about this. First, yes it is very difficult to watch, but rape happens every day and it is part of life. If people are not disgusted by it well the rate won't drop. Let's just hope that anyone who watches that will think about twice before committing such an ugly crime. Second, since art and media are the reflection of life, well it should not be censored or passed over. Cinema is there to illustrate the best and the worst of humans. And Irréversible is one of the most human films I've ever seen.
The evolution of the story is so well executed and I believe that Noé's approach to the whole idea is not only a gimmick of telling the story backwards. It could have been a gimmick, nothing is more true than that. But Noé wants us to ask ourself, is the story weaker because I already know the ending? No. It even makes more sense when the emotional angle is observed, knowing what's going to happen in their lives we kind of have even more empathy for those characters. The movie gets all our attention and we easily get to identify with them.
Finally, it is a mandatory film and probably one of the most important film of the 21st Century. However, I don't think I'll ever watch it again. Just like a great piece of art I wonder how long I will think about it. Mandatory, difficult, but more noticeable it is essential.