In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho... See full summary »
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. Her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands by hiring two criminals to help them find the rapist so that they can exact revenge. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect, and how time destroys everything. Written by
One of the most disturbing and confronting movies ever made.
Watching 'Irreversible' makes you question why you watch movies. If you just want movies to be entertainment and nothing more then obviously this is not something you will EVER want to see in your life. But if you think that film, like literature, is capable of many things, including looking at horrible and disturbing subject matter that you would prefer not to deal with, then 'Irreversible' is highly recommended. But beware, I feel I have the ability to stand all kinds of extreme material, but even I found it extremely difficult to watch. Writer/director Gaspar Noe previously made the brilliant and confrontational 'I Stand Alone', a movie that unfortunately never reached a wide audience. He manages to top himself with this one. Both movies make a mockery of supposedly "difficult" Hollywood fare like 'American Psycho', 'Fight Club', 'Boys Don't Cry' and 'Requiem For A Dream', which are pure Disney compared to Noe's work! 'Irreversible' has a similar structure popularized (but not originated) in Christopher Nolan's 'Memento'. The plot is told in reverse chronological order. This means that the early parts of the movie show the most distressing and difficult material and as the movie continues it gets progressively lighter, and therefore ends ironically on a happy ending. The opening sequences, after the first more subdued scene (which incidentally features a cameo from 'I Stand Alone' star Philippe Nahon as quite possibly the same character), are the most difficult to watch, not just because of WHAT happens (one of the most extreme and realistic acts of violence I've ever seen in a movie) but the way it is shown, with trippy, disorienting hand-held camera work. Later in the movie we see why this event happened by witnessing a grueling rape sequence which is almost impossible to watch. It is these two scenes which made this movie so notorious, but neither are gratuitous in my opinion, they are just REAL. This is reality. Things like this happen every day. Watching it is horrible yes, but even more horrible is the idea that real people must experience these events in the real world. This is what makes this such a disturbing and powerful movie if you have the stomach for it. On a technical level it is brilliant, and the acting by Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, then still a couple off screen (gossip says this is no longer true), and Albert Dupontel is first rate. 'Irreversible' is obviously not a movie for everyone, but if you think you are up to it it comes with my highest possible recommendation, as does 'I Stand Alone' ('Seul contre tous'). These are two astonishing movies which look at the unlookable, and are literally unforgettable.
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