Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Irreversible, Irresistible

by Jesse Lee (writer), Los Angeles, September 16, 2006

I recently came a across a small gem, hidden amongst the other “foreign” films carelessly tossed on a secluded shelf, collecting dust. I have usually been forced to buy certain hard to find movies before ever seeing them because the local Hollywood Video has a more main stream selection. The cover was quite striking and that is usually a good precursor.
The word Irreversible runs vertically down the left side of the cover with a woman standing to the right of it. That woman was what caught my attention. In front of a black backdrop, cast in shadow, staring, longingly maybe, off into the distance. Her hair is pulled back and her shoulders are bare, wearing nothing but a silky, clinging dress. Because it is a side profile, I can see her nipples sticking out unabashedly, invitingly. And across the bottom is a Warning, that the content is not going to be for every one.
For fans of the American film Memento by Christopher Nolan, you might get a kick out of this 2002 Cannes masterpiece by director Gaspar Noe . It occurs in the same fashion, starting at the end and unfolding to the beginning, each sequence starting where the next left off. The film is in French with English subtitles, so be ready to read fast unless they have a dubbed version that I am not aware of. The beautiful woman on the cover of the DVD is Monica Bellucci, most widely known in America for her sexy turn in the Matrix sequels. She is the main female in this film and holds your attention with grace and ease, never once faltering in this very dramatic drama.
Vincent Cassel, Monica’s real life husband who you might remember from Oceans 12 , and Albert Dupontel appear as the other two thirds of this electric cast. All in a single evening that ends in bitter tragedy, which began in ecstasy; Irreversible is a roller coaster for the senses. The camera is very shaky for most of the film and quite sickening, but smoothes out like the tumultuous plot. Everything comes into play here, from the lighting to the music, pulling viewers in.
I completely agree with the Warning after having viewed Irreversible. It is a revenge story. A tale of two men desperately seeking the culprit of a very brutal rape, a scene by the way that caused my wife to leave the room and not finish viewing the film. The culmination of their passionate pursuit is not for the weak of stomach, or eyes for that matter. But keep in mind, since the film is in reverse, you are left with a good “ending,” before the events begin to unravel. And this “ending” is so heartbreakingly serene, that you can not help but turn off the television with a feeling of relief, despite all of its travesties.
Irreversible addresses many issues that few people actually discuss in such a straight forward way. It violently questions the very old philosophy of “Eye for an Eye,” and demonstrates what mistakes can be made when people take the law into their own hands. You are plunged into a terrifying “What if it were me?..” situation that leaves every viewer with a completely different take. In the end it is also a story of love, and displays what can happen when such a gift is taken for granted. Compelling and inspiring to the very end, this film is a must see; but keep in mind, you have been warned!

About the Writer

Jesse Lee is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Irreversible, Irresistible

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By Ariel on September 17, 2006 at 03:02 am
Having lived in France for most of my life, I've heard a lot about this movie. However, I decided never to watch because of this first scene that I heard so much about. I LOVE weird movies, but I think I have limits that I'm afraid Irreversible would cross. Nice article, though!
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By CDriK on September 17, 2006 at 05:11 am
It's a very good movie, however, as you mentionned, it's not for the weak of stomach. So it's not a very good idea to watch it with your girlfriend. On a side note, these are french movies that you should watch with your girlfriend: - Le fabuleux destin d'amélie poulain, 2000 - L'Auberge Espagnole, 2001 - Les Poupées Russes, 2004 - Nos jours heureux, 2006 best regards, cédric
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By Credo on October 16, 2013 at 06:07 pm

Never seen the movie, and judging from the comments it will never go up on my viewer list.

interesting post...


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