Monday, November 21, 2005

Irreversible (2002) * Caution Films *

Red tunnel bad, red tunnel very bad.

Crime Drama Thriller (France)

Starring: Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm; The Passion Of The Christ), Vincent Cassel (Hate; Shrek)

Directed By: Gaspar Noé

Overview: The backwards-told tale of a man's vengeance against the rapist of his beloved.

Acting: The two actors named up top are amazing. Her role as the raped woman is heavy, and it ends / begins really well too. They two of them look so comfortable together. The beginning / end scene with our anti-hero in a righteous rage is also completely well done. French films may not be as down to earth, may be more pretentious, but this one is so honest it's scary.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: There's this effect where the camera sways in an out, rotates upside down, moves around in a haze, especially in the beginning. As it began I really found that the effect was interesting and appropriate, original. However the bar scenes does it far too much, but still it's appropriate and artistic. Ultimately this effect did not linger too much and the end had a strobe effect I didn't like, but throughout the film the angles and locations were good enough to warrant this score.
Rating: 8

Script: I was told that this was unscripted, and you can tell. In a way the dialogue is common and normal stuff, repetitive at times, and rightly so in the furious rage. It's no witty quips like Tarantino would have written. This does nothing but help reinforce how real and honest the film is. For that alone, high marks.
Rating: 8

Plot: The story, I warn you, has burned itself in my mind to such a degree that I will never recommend this to anyone mildly sensitive. I would never want someone to come down on me and call me a sick, twisted sadist again (long story). It's too heavy to tell people they should see it. It's too specific a genre to really be one enjoyed by everyone. The way it goes backwards, like Memento did bumps the plot factor way up, and the events in their simplicity also deserve the high marks allotted.
Rating: 8

Mood: Oh you're there. In the scenes with all the spinning that I mentioned, there's this really haunting music playing and I got a little freaked out by that, knowing that something really bad was going to happen. Then as we back up in the tale, something really bad does happen, and if I recall correctly it was all one take. That has it's way of keeping you in the moment, as graphic as it was. As for the opening / closing scene where the two lovers are together, it's actually quite amazing how comfortable they are. Oh yes, the mood takes the cake.
Rating: 9

Eeesh, I'm just making a gross pucker-face right now...

Overall Rating: 84% (Unforgettable and Indelible Too)

Aftertaste: This still leaves it's mark days later. It's not a tragedy in the usual sense of the word, and I will still have serious reservations in recommending this to anyone. It's bleak and dark, yet romantic and hopeful (but backwards), which somehow makes it worse I guess. If you can take it, see this. It's good, really good.