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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noe's brilliant debut. Truly superb., 11 Jan. 2004
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This review is from: Seul Contre Tous [VHS] [1999] (VHS Tape)
As it seems will be his alot for his entire career, I began to watch Seul Contre Tous with the words of many ringing in my head. Disturbing, violent and the like. Having seen Irreversible a vast number of times, and it becoming my pick for film of the last twenty years, I expected the exclamations of reviewers to be no understatement.
Once again this is a film of true brilliance, not only in its stunning acting, and its technical originality, but in its courage in tackling such positively provocative subject matter. Like Irreversible it mixes 100% unique filmaking flair with a social voice so desperately needed in the world of flat, escapist pieces of durge. Its both replusive and beautiful, but always stays tense and ready to explode.
The story is simple enough, and runs on the continuous commentary, in a wonderfully gravelly voice over, from the leading protagonist. It charts his ultra pessimistic journey to his wits end. People seem to label Noe as an exaggerator of violence and emotion, but rather I feel the majority of movie goers are more accustomed to being protected by the money over message ethos of modern filmmaking. The violence is again graphically real, and serves in its genuine harshness only to show the vapidity and true horror of hollywood violence which means nothing and blunts our sensibilities. The writing is magnificient, and while the path of this man leads to a shocking conclusion of genuine distaste, his sentiments can be echoed by all those frustrated with the world who have the perception and intelligence to comprehend it.
The descending theme is derivative, but only in a genre sense, this movie is unique to itself. It will certainly stay with you and it goes without saying its not for those of light disposition.
Probably the point of most discussion in the ending. Its not as violent as many will have led you to believe, its the subject matter, which I feel isn't at all redeeming, which challenges beyond acceptance. This conclusion is somewhat dislocated from his previous descent subject matter, and ironically, the more satisfactory endng would have come with a bloodbath. This character goes on to appear right at the very beginning of Irreversible, so watch out for that.
Any way you look at it, this film is far superior to most being created and is a must see for real film fans.
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