fredag 8. mai 2009


The latest movie watched is Gaspar Noe's controversial movie Irreversible from 2002. The movie, when shown in Cannes, made a record-number of people leave the cinema because of its highly graphical violence. The movie is shown in reverse chronological order, starting with the end credits and ending with the beginning.

The scene that probably made people leave the theater in Cannes, was probably one of the first scenes when the main protagonist, Marcus, finds the alleged rapist of his wife. In the following fight, Marcus is overpowered by the rapist and is just to be raped himself when his friend Pierre appears with a fire-extinguisher and bashes the rapists head in. This is done without any cuts, clearly showing the rapist's head being smashed, and it is shockingly well done (a clip can be found here, though in bad quality. Warning; explicit violence)

The film then shows how Marcus and Pierre found the rapist, then how his wife got raped and finally ends up with the happy life they had before the rape. The rape scene is also done without cuts, and is very graphical and violent. Monica Bellucci is finally being beaten to a pulp after the rape. The movie has been criticized for being pornographic, but anyone being aroused by such scenes must be pretty cold hearted. Similar critique was raised against Pasolini's Salo, 120 Days of Sodom. Such critique clearly shows that the viewer has not understood the filmmaker's motives. I can't understand people that react against filmmakers showing rape as a brutal and agonizing thing. Do they rather want a cut version that doesn't confront them? Where rape neatly fits in with escapist ideals, and just being entertainment? That is, in my opinion, much worse.

Noe's movie does suffer from being perceived as a "concept-movie" alas, the concept overshadowing the film's message. But it is also clear that the narrational devices of telling the story backwards makes for a more interesting movie, then had it been linear. When telling it in reverse, the quiet, beautiful moments before the rape seem eerie and dark. The viewer knows what's going to happen. The final moment when Bellucci finds out she's pregnant is devastating.

It's a good movie, but it has the feel of being a bit "thin". There's too little going on, in my opinion. There is a great intensity and pretty good acting, but I have trouble finding more to it then; revenge is not the way to do it. It is an irreversible act. In this instance the revenge had a tragic ending to it, and it makes the viewer ponder what's right and wrong in such a situation. It's a nicely told movie, but I think it's all a bit too obvious and I don't think it could withhold repeated viewing. But it's good enough for me to recommend watching it.

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