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... There is an argument that it shows the dehumanising tendency of unbridled lust, desire, vengeance and violence but the film could certainly also can be seen as graphic voyeurism. Sade reinvented for the cinema era???