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Irreversible (DVD) (Collector's Edition) (Subtitled) [2003]

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Product details

  • Actors: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia, Philippe Nahon
  • Directors: Gaspar Noé
  • Writers: Gaspar Noé
  • Producers: Vincent Cassel, Gaspar Noé, Brahim Chioua, Christophe Rossignon, Emmanuel Gateau
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Dec 2006
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011FXI2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,386 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Vincent Cassell and Monica Bellucci star in this French crime drama written and directed by Gaspar Noé. When Marcus (Cassell) and his girlfriend Alex (Bellucci) decide to go to a party with their friend Pierre (Albert Dupontel), they are totally unaware that their world is about to be torn apart in the most unimaginably brutal way possible.


Irreversible begins with the closing credits running backwards before the film begins (or ends) with Marcus (Vincent Cassell) and Pierre (Albert Dupontel) being escorted out of a gay s/m club by the cops, Marcus with his arm broken and Pierre in handcuffs. The "story" proceeds to unwind in a series of single-take scenes that unfold Memento-style, with each scene giving more context to what we have seen previously.

Each scenario depicts actions, dialogue, incident, behaviour and circumstance that the lead characters might have wished didn't happen, ranging from extreme violence through awkward social situations to mild embarrassment. The central character (and possible dreamer of this whole what-if story) emerges as Alex (Monica Bellucci), who suffers the worst in a very hard-to-watch rape sequence in an underpass. Semi-improvised, the scenes all have attack and power as themes, with later/earlier conversational sequences that suggest life isn't all sexual assaults in the dark, showing equal cinematic imagination with the horrors. Arguably, this is not a film most would subject themselves to twice, but it is something that stays in the mind for days after viewing, sparking far more ideas and emotions than most wallow-in-nastiness pictures. --Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Val Miller on 23 Sep 2010
Format: DVD
A film about male rage? A savage critique of the penis? A warning about the consequences of revenge? Not in my opinion. It's a film about gratification, lust and depravity, among other things. By some standards (conventional standards if you like) Marcus, Pierre and Alex are very depraved - their drinking, public graphic discussion of sex, Marcus' desire to sodomise Alex, and his drug taking, to cite some examples. Tenia takes it to a whole new level though and really tests the boundaries! It represents (to me anyway) a society in a state of total moral decay, from the more acceptable end of the scale (the party for example), through prostitution, the S+M gay club, to outright brutal rape and torture. We are left to make our own sense of the events and the characters. Noé makes no comment or moral judgement. I thought it interesting that the film company created for the production is called '120'. As in the Marquis de Sade's '120 Days of Sodom'? Surely. Anyone who is familiar with the behaviour and literature of the 18th century French Libertines will see this angle of personal pleasure weighed against the suffering of others, albeit the concept is taken to an extreme here. After the rape scene Tenia lays back and says 'awesome', reinforcing that the experience was an ultimate pleasure for him. An archetypal sadist! Sadly, far worse things than this happen on a daily basis throughout the world. This is a sordid modern tale indeed. I've given it 4 stars (how can you give a movie like this a star rating?) because technically it's very well conceived and shot (as other reviewers have discussed very adequately), but I'm not sure I liked it, my initial reaction was revulsion and disgust (I guess that's good!) but that is changing all the time now as I reflect on this movie...Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie Annie on 7 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this film because, after reading the reviews - which were very mixed - I wanted to see it for myself to form my own opinions.

The film setup is rather disorientating and confusing. The camera spins around at the end of lots of scenes, and switches from past to present fairly regularly. Obviously it is intentional and adds to the atmosphere.

I don't normally get upset at films but I couldn't finish this film. It is very graphic and violent - I knew that when I purchased it, but I wasn't prepared for just how much. The rape scene in particular is so brutal. I was shaking and crying. That scene will be on my mind for a long time.

And that is where I end with this film. After I watched the rape scene I couldn't watch anymore and so, I can't give a full rundown of the whole film. If you think it is going to be your average brawl/punch-up kind of film, you are going to find you are mistaken.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
THere are few films that actually make me sick to my stomach, and this is one of them. The violence is so graphic - there is one scene where you can count how many teeth a man loses as his head is slowly bashed in - that I simply had to fast forward it OFTEN. Really, it made me heave, near vomiting. Then, there is the horror at the center of the plot, the fate of a beautiful and happy young woman. Now there was a time in my youth when I would have relished my "reaction," feeling that such a film made me "experience" a new reality, etc. All the artistic longings - often nonsense in retrospect - of the inexperienced. Well, I am afraid that life has made me no longer want to see such things. I have had friends who suffered similar things and there is nothing to learn from it and no value is bringing it to the screen in my opinion. However, it does make the film controversial - look at the range of reviews here!

Because of the odd way that the film is edited, I am not revealing the plot here. Indeed, with the camera waving around in an attempt at avant garde technique, it added to my nausea. Nonetheless, the acting is very very good. Moreover, there are philosophical points throughout the whole thing and they are not totally pretentious, but add to the portrayal of life and love in the film. The chemistry between the actors is totally believable, as is the changes in personality.

Am I a bourgeois philistine for saying that it was simply awful to watch? Perhaps, but maybe I have just outgrown this kind of art thing. I think you can get deep philosophy and thoughtfulness without such total horror.

Not recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JW on 7 Oct 2005
Format: DVD
Rape is shocking, and this is a film which reiterates this point (you could argue that this point doesn't need reiterating), or rather pummels the full horror of rape right into your soul. I just marvel at the skill of the director because i have never seen such an intense film in my life. It is right up there for the entire 90 minutes! It's an exhilirating experience to witness art of this quality, and the film totally hits the spot on many other levels - excellent music, exploration of friendship and loyalty, the most beautiful love scenes which add so much poignancy. I could go on, i loved it both times i saw it. Though i'm not sure i could stomach a third viewing!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By I. E. Cooper on 5 Jun 2003
Format: DVD
You can watch a film surrounded by controversy and still wonder what all the fuss was about when it ends. Irreversible, however, is one film that it can truly be said lives up to its reputation. A bad thing?? Certainly not, but you won't enjoy it, how can you when it contains two of (in my opinion) the most distressing and disturbing scenes ever committed to celluloid? No exaggeration.
In the riskiest roles of their careers, Cassel & Belluci give powerhouse performances, as a couple thrust into a nightmare over one evening. Told backwards, the viewer is hurled into the nightmare just as quickly as its characters, as we witness Belluci's rapist being beaten in the face with a fire extinguisher until he is dead. The sheer realism of this scene is remarkable and repulsive and will more than likely deter you from wanting to continue further with the film. As a hardened viewer of some of the most intense films out there, i expected to be able to pass this by, but soon realised i was unprepared for what i was witnessing. I felt sickened, i felt the urge to stop watching, yet i was compelled to continue.
Nothing can prepare you for the (now) infamous rape scene which follows, & 5 minutes into the nine minute scene i had turned off the film, upset and unwilling to watch any further until i was better prepared. I wasn't disgusted, and its not exploitative, it just has a realism that you don't expect and aren't prepared for in the comfort of your home & everyday life. Ordinary people in an extraordinary & violent world that will always be there everytime we step outside our door. The film had set out to make a point, and had done it and then some.
You can't ignore this film, its far too important for that.
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