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Friday, March 25, 2011

Six Months Later

I thought a long time before publishing this post. It's been in my list of posts since January. I still think it's relevant. I don't often talk about films here, even though I watch so many of them. This one is worth mentioning.

I've seen a lot of movies in my time. I mean a lot. But four months after seeing one particular movie, I'm still shaken by it. I'll never forget it. It was both the best and worst movie I've ever seen in my life. It changed my life in that I radically altered some of my opinions because of it.

The name of this movie is Irreversible. After seeing this movie, you'll wish it was an irreversible experience. If you are squeamish, dislike violence, dislike any kind of gore, or anything mildly offensive, DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. Hell, even if you're okay with those things, consider yourself warned. I have never had to turn away from a movie, and I've seen a lot of pretty horrific things on film. Sure, none of it is real, but you'll be pretty convinced.

This movie is so intense, violent, graphic, and disturbing that even months later, I can't erase what I saw, heard, and experienced. Someone could ask "why would you put yourself through that for fun?" and I would say "because this actually happens to people." When a film can make me feel so repulsed about human violence and rape, it has succeeded.

Some people think the film is gratuitous in violence, graphic nature, and, well. Rape. But I think it does the job nicely. It's not violent for the sake of being violent, as far as I can tell. It portrays, if anything, just how angry and demonic people can be.

The film is very difficult to watch for the first third or so. Apparently the director (Noé) played with inaudible frequencies to intentionally make us queasy in the first third of the movie. The camera angles are a bit much if you ask me, and don't really add to the experience. You can tell that Noé wants to mess you up right from the beginning, though.

I wouldn't say it gets "better" in any kind of positive way. The rape scene is the most painful nine minutes you will ever endure on film, and you should endure all 9 minutes of it with her for full effect. You will regret it! And yes, I said you "should" endure it. It's almost right smack-dab in the middle of the movie, too. The point is driven home with a full nine goddamn minutes of horrifying, inhumane, disgusting rape. There is nothing erotic, attractive, or sexual about any of those nine minutes. But you need to feel it. You need to think about it. You need to face it. This scene actually changed a lot of my views on the subject.

There's a lot of subtle hints at promiscuity, sex, the role of women, the role of men, homophobia, and other themes. I think everything here was thought out when laid down for production.

I've never intentionally turned away from a film. Never. This movie made me change some of my own principles and attitudes about human rage and the act of rape, and I have a new concept of evil.

A repulsive, hard to face, despairingly awful but brilliant film. It will take a "special" kind of person to appreciate this one, I think. My sister thought it was garbage, and seemed pretty unmoved by it, but she was also terrified of The Human Centipede, which I laughed all the way through.

The scariest and most awful part of the awfulness of this whole movie? That this shit isn't necessarily fiction. And that we do this to one another. Think about that IF you dare watch this movie.

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