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
Three people fainted during the showing of the film at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. See more »
When Alex is in the bed with her boyfriend and they get up to dance, the whole film crew is mirrored on the glass of the window. See more »
[On getting revenge for Alex]
This is a man's business. No pussies allowed.
See more »
The "N" in the "Studio Canal" logo at the start of the film is backwards. See more »
A new version, called "Irréversible - Inversion Intégrale" ("Irréversible - Straight Cut" in English), was screened in 2019 at the 76th annual Venice International Film Festival. It has been recut to put the narration in chronological order. See more »
Let me start off by telling you that I am a scholar in literature with a profound interest for literature in general and the works of the Russian masters in particular. Modern day authors are often completely uninteresting for me, since they fail to comment on questions that are immortal for mankind and only submits to shallowness.
With that being said you might not be surprised when I tell you I tend to look for the same thing in movies. Sure I can watch a movie purely for the entertainment factor, but the ones that become favourites are always profound and often splits its audience in two halves. What prompted me to write this review was scanning the comments that have been written on "Irreversible" before. It seems many who watch this movie does so with the wrong kind of preconceptions, resulting in displeasure when it fails to live up to their expectations. Also, the curse of humanity is that stupid people have no way of knowing that they are, so there is no way keeping them from watching movies they do not understand.
Not only do I hold this movie as the best one ever made, but also doubt there will ever be one as good in the future either. Pretty strong words, yes, and I should probably tell you why... Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, in "Irreversible" is there for a reason. Every move of the camera, every word spoken and every face made by an actor. Let me point out a few of these: 1. The inverted chronology is there to enhance the atrocities the characters live through and increase the sympathy any sane person would feel for them. It is NOT a gimmick to draw attention to the movie, nor a rip off from "Memento".
2. Many of my friends have (unfortunatley) misunderstood the reasons for some of the dialogue in the movie and found them excessive. They are not! They are there to make it impossible for the intelligent viewer not to identify with the characters. The unmasked realism makes it impossible to say "it's just a movie" and leaves you pondering the issues raised by Noé long after you've finished watching.
3. The controversial scene everyone talked about (and Noé was accused of making so long to draw attention to the movie) is constituted also in a way to reach a climax of realism and transfer some of the pain the character feels unto the viewer. I was both sweating and shivering from paroxysms of fury when I watched it, but as Aeschylus said "With suffering comes wisdom".
This movie is as close as a movie will ever get to literature and actually adds depht with its format (which is extremely rare). Anyone attempting to adapt the screenplay and rewrite it as a novel would fail.
Basically if you like a movie to end when it ends, don't watch this one. If, however, you like to be left with thoughts open for discussion and interpretation and have a chance to evolve as a human being, this is for you!
27 of 57 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this