Irreversible is an epitome of unique filmmaking that is risky and superlatively raw. The sui generis narration of the film is a highly successful experiment carried out by visuals without one single cut
Language: French Year: 2002
Gaspar Noe is one of the directors known for his quirky premises and executions. Irreversible is one such film in his filmography that stands out as an experimental execution, that not just plays with the narration, but also takes a leap from usual cinematography.
Irreversible is the story of Alex, a young and beautiful woman, who falls victim to a brutal rape. Her boyfriend and her former boyfriend, out of anger and vexation, decide to hunt down the vicious animal behind it.
Irreversible‘s heart lies in its making. Gaspar Noe took an extreme step in the early 2000s (2002 exact), creating one of the best films ever, which is vile and atrocious. It goes through the intoxicated lives of illegal clubs, where many hopeless, dying lives are in the path of sins. It is explicit but its premise, the temperature at which the film lies, demands a rough and clear-cut portrayal of events and characters.
Contradicting the title, the narration backpedals. It starts from the climax and the story is told in reverse. But that is where the film succeeds. If we examine the story, in a linear way, it has been executed many times in many different ways. So doing something new with it is highly challenging and complex. But a mastermind like Gaspar Noe knows to dissect a plot and how to approach such a hackneyed premise in an out and out different format.
The cinematography of the film also marks a difference with a visually strange yet efficacious frame.
The entire movie is filmed in a single shot (it seems to be but the actual film making had cuts). It is the transitions that made such a peculiarity. The transition from one location to another is acquired by the camera’s uneven hasty movement to a dark side in the frame, which then fades out to next location.
Story and Script
Written by Gaspar Noe, Irreversible is a stunning piece of art with an outstanding screenplay. The story unfolds in reverse chronological order. It begins baffled, leaving viewers confused about what is going on. But as it progresses, it builds a moving, gripping storyline that keeps the audience glued to their seats. The 10-15 min of complete mayhem, brutal rape scene, without any cuts, in a single shot, hits your emotions straight and bullets through your heart. The entire scene is so cataclysmic and macabre, that it leaves its viewers in disgust
The Bohemian style of Gaspar Noe, though it is reality he pulls his focus to, strikes us hard, paving way to an amazing yet disturbing screenplay. Terrifically penned script.
Directed by Gaspar Noe, Irreversible is yet another classic by the French director. Every time he makes a film, he makes it with utmost authenticity. Rooting to the same way, Gaspar crafted this film too without compromising to the prevailing censor rules or society. Everything has been set up great, from performance to light, to the zany, kooky cinematography which is amazingly out of ordinary. He has kept everything in the right place, in the right amount but not in the same usual shelf of films.
Gaspar Noe has ensembled an amazing cast consisting of Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, and Jo Prestia. The most staggering scene, equal to a nightmare, performed by Monica Bellucci and Jo Prestia is extremely intense and powerfully enacted. Vincent and Albert also give their best, making Irreversible an effective watch.
It will leave you in grief and repugnance for sometime after watching the film.
Cinematography is also handled by the writer/director Gaspar Noe himself. He has cinematographed his visions just like the way his film is, strange yet amusing. Lighting by Benoit Debie perfectly blends with the vehement frames of Gaspar Noe. Each frame acts as an emotional boundary in which strong feelings of anger, grief, violence, etc proliferate every second.
Thomas Bangalter’s music also does a heavy job. The famous french musician who is acclaimed greatly for his works does a job that upraises the artistic merits of the film.
Irreversible is a film that follows a narrative format of Z-A, unlike the linear A-Z format. It is highly risky to execute such a plot where one single loophole can lead the film to a colossal disaster. But Gaspar Noe’s calculated, outlandish scripting and vehement frames, all helmed by his peculiar, excellent direction, made this flick a first-rate classic.