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-definition 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 »
When Alex walks down the stairs of the tunnel, the knot of her dress around her neck and her hairstyle change after the camera shows the sign "passage" and comes back to Alex's back. See more »
The "N" in the "Studio Canal" logo at the start of the film is backwards. See more »
The Hong Kong version is cut (despite being given a Category III rating, meaning under 18s are prohibited from watching this film) for nudity and sexual violence. Most genitalia is blurred or pixelated except for the digital penis. Alex's rape is butchered by 5 mins. See more »
I have seen this film only once. It needs multiple viewings, I feel, to fully appreciate it's merit. This is something that will come in time but I felt it was only right to comment after my first impression. I instantly gave the film 10 out of 10, not because I overly enjoyed it (nigh on impossible) but because it shook me, at times, to my very core and affected me in a way that I cannot easily or fully describe. I can honestly say Irreversible is the most devastating piece of cinema I've ever witnessed. This isn't solely due to it's shocking content but more so the production as a whole and how it has been constructed and packaged. It truly is a work of art. Camera-work, lighting, colour (primarily gaudy, striking tones of red and orange) all combine in an unforgettable amalgam of brilliance. Featuring towering performances from Cassel, Belluci and Dupontel the film lurches backward in time depicting the events of a truly tragic night in the lives of three friends. Alex (Belluci) is brutally raped on her way home from a party and Marcus (Cassel) and Pierre (Dupontel) set off determined to wreak vengeance on the perpetrator. However, that is merely the plot. Admittedly quite a simple premise but the way it is played out is unforgettable. This is a film that everyone should and arguably needs to see as it is, for me, a milestone of modern cinema. Raw and unflinching, can you stomach it?
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