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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Irreversible - A Review

'Time destroys everything'

Irreversible a french movie directed by Gasper Noe, featuring Vincent Cassel and Monica Belluci is very powerful and kind of disturbing at the same time.

Told in reverse chronology, the plot revolves around two men Marcus and Pierre who are out to revenge the brutal rape of Alex who is Marcus' girlfriend and Pierre's ex. Irreversible has gained fame for its 'style over substance' kind of movie making. The handheld camera movements are at times distracting but it is integral to the plot about time taking no prisoners and that life is not always '...and they lived happily ever after.' Though the movie ends on that very note...but we as viewers will know that there is more to come and that the peaceful idyll is going to be shattered soon.

What makes Irreversible stand out is the the graphic violence. There are two scenes that epitomizes them. The first one is a protracted rape sequence that plays on for around 8 to 9 minutes. I have never scene a sequence that brings out the brutality of rape in such stark detail. I am sure the director intended to send a message about the viciousness of the act itself, but was it necessary to have it extended like this, I wonder.

The second sequence occurs in a gay bar where a charcter has his face beaten to a pulp with the aid of a fire extinguisher. This is in-your-face movie making at its most graphic. Though the violence is gut renching, you are caught up as if in a trance. I dont know or havent seen any movie that lays bare acts of human violations in such manner.

Acting plays second here to the directors style...and I thought that Vincent Cassel was slightly irritating. Monica Belluci has been the subject of most male fantasies (though I admit she is not one of my favorite), but here I think she did a wonderful job of acting especially in the above mentioned scene.

Watching the movie requires a certain kind of fortitude. Irreversible though not top of the line cinema, it is captivating to say the least.

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