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Irreversible (2002)

May. 22,2002
| Drama Thriller Crime Mystery

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 and subsequently seek revenge upon the assailant. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect, and how time destroys everything.


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I thought I've seen it all, but no. This is the worst movie I've ever seen by far. Acting, script, directing, meaning,purpose zero... It supposed to be brutal, but it was extremely predictable with only one meaningless scene. Completely overrated from fake-cultured people... The camera must be from a supermarket and the lights from director's living room. Do yourself a favor and don't watch this in your entire life.


Film Review: "Irreversible" (2002) - Taking on a bizarre approach of mixing conceptions of "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) and "Memento" (2000) to make this picture work for itself in casting real-life married couple Monica Bellucci & Vincent Cassel to portray two Parisian middle class people, Alex & Marcus, going out for party at their friend's. Director Gaspar Noé, frequent guest in Cannes Film Festival's competition since his first feature "I Stand Alone" (1998), polarizes the 55th edition of Cannes with his also originally written film "Irreversible".The editorial intervenes scene by scene in reverse story-telling, exposing one night in Paris for the couple Alex & Marcus, who got separated over a minor dispute to fatal consequences for both characters, which all-time controversial representation of urban underpath rape of the character of Alex, who has not been prepared for a predator of the Parisian underworld with a free path of finishing his business of leaving behind the empty shell of Alex.Director Gaspar Noé gives his main characters no chance of conciliation, seeking no balance nor preaches any mercy that film becomes downhill and out experience, which nevertheless shares some over-stylish camera motions by Cinematographer Benoît Debie and honest acting by the at times over-enthusiastic couple Bellucci & Cassel, who hardly stand a chance to come full circle with their characters of an otherwise weak-on-suspense script that lives from the sensation-mongering violent explosions at the beginning plus the previously mentioned storyline's climatic scene, which at today's standards needed metal objects pushed into human flesh, blood on snow white skin and a limping rapist to come close to even with the audience.What is left of a so-called scandal film of the year 2002 is another acting couple after Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor in "Who's Afraid of Virgina Wolf" (1966), Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman in "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) and then the not-as-close to a classic considered "Irreversibel", where only a "Memento" (2000) copycat gimmick of telling the story backwards saves the picture from a total fall-out due to cliché-striving screenplay of expected relationship quarrels following into one false move of carelessness, which should have been just taking the cab for woman in an evening dress to get home at night.© 2017 Felix Alexander Dausend (Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)


Normally, when I write a review, I just write about my feelings about the movie. But people have been so off the mark in their interpretations that I just felt like I had to speak up because everyone is either LOVING the movie for the wrong reasons or HATING the movie for the wrong reasons. So let me try to explain as best as I can what themes this movie was exploring:1. Barbarism is Toxic Pierre was the sensitive, sweet nice guy all evening who hated Marcus' violent behavior and kept begging him to turn back away from his revenge fantasy. Pierre was so disgusted by Marcus' behavior that he even called him a caveman and an animal. Yet he was the one who wound up savagely killing a man, not Marcus. Why? First Marcus kept bullying him and calling him gay at the party. Later, he was exposed to both the rabid homophobia and racism of both Marcus and the two thugs for hire as they attacked a Chinese cab driver and slashed a transsexual. Even though Pierre was above the violence, thuggery, homophobia and racism, the barbarism was so toxic that like a poison, it wound up infecting him before he even realized what was happening. By the time he did, it was too late. So this is the first theme of the movie. Even if you are by nature a tolerant, nonviolent, civilized person, if you're exposed enough to barbaric behavior, you can become impacted by it.2. Tragedy and Evil Impacts Everyone, No Matter Who You Are Irreversible did this very strange thing where it started out looking dark, brown and muddy and then, as it progressed, became more colorful and cheerful until it faded to white. So we get this picture of Alex's life being portrayed as oh, so innocent and sweet like a Disney cartoon, and The Rectum's victim's life as being dark and disgusting. The point was to contrast Alex's "acceptable, wholesome" life with that of the Rectum victim to say that evil and tragedy doesn't play favorites. Anyone can be a victim, whether you are a young, beautiful, popular affluent woman or an outcast hated by society who lives out a debauched life of "sin" in the seedy underbelly of BDSM clubs. 3. Tragedy Can Happen at Any Time Many people wonder what the point of having Alex be pregnant was all about, and on a gorgeous spring day. Well, the point was to say that tragedy can happen at any time in your life. Tragedy doesn't say, "Oh, it's a beautiful day today and you just got some great news. Think I'll wait for you to have a bad day and when it's gloomy and raining outside!" It can strike whether you're having a great day or whether you're having a lousy day, whether it's sunny outside or raining.4. There's No Such Thing as FateAlex had a dream that morning that seemed like a premonition of her rape. Later she suggests that she believes in Fate. Irreversible says this isn't true, that what we call "fate" is a matter of "accident"--in other words a series of bad timing, decisions and chance happenstances that, had they played out a little differently, would've completely changed the course of events.This is what the whole time jumping "gimmick" is about. Every time the movie jumps back in time, it jumps back to a specific moment when, had the characters done or said something differently, would've averted Alex's rape and The Rectum murder. For example, the reason why the party scene starts specifically at the part when Marcus does coke is that if he hadn't done that line of coke, he and Alex wouldn't have had the fight that led her to leave the party by herself. BTW, the guy who shows up at the underpass as Alex as getting raped? That was showing that her rape wasn't fated; it was a classic case of bad timing. The guy was a pedestrian who had entered the underpass just moments after Alex did. Had Alex entered the tunnel just a few minutes later than she had, he would've been there right behind her and La Tenia wouldn't have touched her. Again, the point being that even at the last minute, Alex could've avoided the rape, that just because she had a premonition that morning doesn't mean it was "in the cards" and she was doomed as soon as she woke up that morning.5. You Can't Undo the PastWhenever Irreversible "time jumps", it jumps to a moment in time when, had the characters acted and behaved differently, would've changed everything--had Alex not listened to the idiot at the stoplight who told her to take the underpass, had Marcus listened to Pierre every time he begged him to turn back from his revenge mission, had Marcus not done coke, so on and so forth. We look at all the things they could've done differently that night and go, "Aw, if only..." But the problem is that time isn't reversible. That's what the man in the beginning of the film means when he says, "Time destroys everything." That's why the movie is called Irreversible. What's done is done. Irreversible-10/10 In any event, whether you loved the movie or hated it, I urge you to reconsider your feelings based on this review. Irreversible is a lot more nuanced than lovers are giving it credit for and a lot less nihilistic than haters think it is. It is very thought provoking, and I hope that maybe some day, more people will take a second look at it and try to see what Noe was trying to explore with this movie.


You know? The thing I most value when I am watching a movie is the chance that catharsis could happen. Something that happens in very few occasions but something that I chase frequently. Then there are the movies that leave me lukewarm, which are the majority. Then there is Irreversible, which provoked in me something resembling an anti-catharsis. I would never have imagined such a rejection for a movie, such a feeling of dirt. Did the movie want to explore the limits of cinema? He succeeded but at the expense of cinematography. I would encourage anyone to ignore such a bad taste movie. The end is not justified. The means are not such. There is controversy and morbid about this film but it has nothing to do with art, I think.