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
The entire film was shot on Super 16, telecined to high-def video for color tweaking and editing, and then exported to Super 35. For many of the handheld shots, the director used the smallest existing 16mm camera, the Minima. See more »
At the party Vincent Cassel gives his characters name as "Vincent" instead of "Marcus." He quickly covers his mistake and saves the scene. See more »
As would be expected of a film which runs backwards, the "end credits" are actually displayed at the beginning of the film. There are no credits at the end of the film, except for a title card which reads "Le temps détruit tout" (Time destroys everything). There are no studio logos after this. See more »
Irreversible is pretty infamous by now because of its content, it would always be one of the first to come up whenever I read about disturbing films on the internet, and three words: fire, extinguisher, and rape, are always mentioned in the same sentence as the film's title.
It pains me to say it, but beyond the controversial and shocking scenes, this film really doesn't have much to offer. The film is not in chronological order, it goes backwards, but I'm not sure this was such a good idea. A similar thing was done in "Memento". In that film it was done for two main reasons: to make us see it from the main character's perspective, and also to emphasise the twists and turns in the plot. Irreversible does neither of these things. The reason for it is to make us see how their lives were ruined, before these things actually happen to them, but I think it's there more for style reasons and to make the film stand out.
Once you strip away the style, there is very little substance to this film. The all-over-the-place camera along with the strange noise in the background during the "Rectum" scene, was genuinely unsettling. Add in one of the most brutally violent attacks I've seen in a film and you have a disturbing scene. The rape scene is also disturbing, but overall this is a very thin idea stretched out over 90 minutes. This can be seen in the final 40 or so minutes. Once the rape scene is over, that seems to be almost all the film has to offer, and the rest of the film is just a lot of improvised acting from the actors, which must have been fun to make, but is not terribly exciting or compelling.
Every scene in this film goes on way too long, the rape scene is too long, and every single scene after it also goes on too long. One of the few things I did like was the end scene, but that couldn't redeem the whole film.
The whole concept behind the film is that this girl is raped, and her boyfriend takes revenge on the attacker. This isn't enough to make a 90 minute film out of, and while it's well acted by everyone, it amounts to little more than its controversial scenes overall.
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