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.