The 12 scenes of Irreversible--each shot in a single, semi-improvised take--constitute something of a tour de force. But so would being dragged through the streets by a wire noose.
We hate to say it, but we can't find anywhere to view this film.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
What isn't hard to say is that Noé really isn't a very talented filmmaker.
To get to the beginning, one must first get through the end, which is almost literally unendurable.
Stupid, vicious, and pretentious, though you may find it worth checking out if you want to experiment with your own nervous system.
About halfway through Irreversible comes the longest sustained act of violence I've seen onscreen.
Irreversible, though, is not a Kubrickian head trip. All Noe has come up with is a turn-on for sadists.
The fact is, the reverse chronology makes Irreversible a film that structurally argues against rape and violence, while ordinary chronology would lead us down a seductive narrative path toward a shocking, exploitative payoff.
Made with disarming craft and cunning. Intermixed in the memories it leaves of horror and disgust are glimpses of impressive technique and savvy psychological insight.
Maybe, you think, there is something daring and brilliant going on here: an excursion into the darkest territories of the human soul. But no. In the end -- or the beginning -- there is no point to all this. Or at least not a point worth making, and making us watch.
Anyone with a weak heart or a queasy stomach should stay away. In fact, most everyone everywhere should stay away. But if you still want to see Irreversible, be prepared to see images that will upset and disturb you for a long, long time. Be prepared to be shaken to the very core.