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.