It’s straightforward to cut back Irreversible right down to a single phrase: “that movie.” It’s “that movie” that made audiences go away theaters in disgust, “that movie” with one of the sickening depictions of sexual assault put to movie, “that movie” you will probably by no means need to see once more. It was even dubbed by esteemed critic Roger Ebert as “a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable.” If you are keen to push your individual boundaries of style, nevertheless, what you will discover is a movie expertise that’ll follow you lengthy after your first viewing, one which purposefully twists what would’ve been a normal revenge story into one thing a bit extra profound.
Originally launched in 2002, Gasper Noe’s Irreversible shall be returning to theaters with what is named the “Straight Cut,” or an altered model of the movie that rearranges its order of occasions into one thing fully totally different, all whereas lopping off round eight minutes of footage for pacing. What does this imply, and why do you have to be enthusiastic about it?
Irreversible, to place it flippantly, is uncomfortable. The movie begins with a credit score roll that is simply as prone to induce seizures as it’s to burn your retinas. As the listing of textual content weaves and bobs out of body as if it have been on a pendulum, the movie’s cinematography assaults your senses. There’s hardly ever a second the place the digital camera stops to take a breath, because it’s continually shifting, spinning, and twirling in an limitless collection of steady pictures. It’s a mirrored image of the strain and paranoia that is strewn all through the movie’s first half, an impact that solely ever stabilizes to focus on the movie’s most intense moments.
There’s an elephant within the room that must be addressed: most of Irreversible‘s controversy stems from the nine-minute-long sexual assault scene. It’s a single, unbroken shot, with all the ordeal taking on the middle of the body. It’s one of many few instances the digital camera is totally nonetheless, forcing you to sit down there and agonizingly witness the traumatic occasion. This, mixed with a slightly-less heinous scene involving a person’s head, a fireplace extinguisher, and a BDSM nightclub, prompted a wave of concern in the course of the movie’s preliminary launch.