2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Love It Or Loath It, You'll Never Forget It,
This review is from: Irreversible [DVD]  (DVD)
The first time I saw this movie was at a friends house. We were having a drink and a chat about cinema when I mentioned a notorious film I had heard about called 'Irreversible'. He then proceeded to give me a lecture on the masterfully disturbing nature of this film, which had me completely enthralled and I couldn't wait for him to show me it, but he refused outright saying, "it would be a depressing way to end an evening". So after half an hour of persistently annoying him he finally put it on just to shut me up. Now I have to say that like most blokes in their early twenties i'm extremely desensitized to most forms of violence, sex and language and movies never really get under my skin. So when I say how disturbed I was by this film I mean it most sincerely.
Even the opening (or ending) credits immediately set an uncomfortable tone which only intensifies as the film progresses. It is of course noted for having two scenes of a particularly disturbing nature, one involving rape and the other involving a fire extinguisher, both of which are the most breathtakingly shocking and unnerving of their kind. The acting is first rate, with the three leads all turning in career best performances. Director Gaspar Noe uses the camera to great effect and the reverse order is done with tremendous flair, but not so as to allow it to convolute the story. Special effects and camera tricks are used ingeniously which you wouldn't even notice unless you were told, i.e. the camera moving in and out of the car through an apparently solid window, or the way they expertly crafted the extinguisher scene. It should be mentioned that along with all the undiluted darkness there is also a scene of great romance and affection between Bellucci and Cassell that exhibits the obvious chemistry that brought them together in real life. This scene is only tarnished by the fact that you already know how it's going to end, but it's still a great study of passion and care free attitude.
In my opinion, Irreversible is a classic of modern cinema, which in the future will undoubtedly be considered as Gaspar Noe's moment of sheer brilliance. The only reason I haven't given this film five stars is because of the nature of the movie. Some people would be too put off by certain scenes or simply by the general mood which leaves you feeling rather unsettled. But anyone willing to give it the time would be left with a cinematic experience that will remain with them forever. Just give it a chance.