Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Irreversible: Straight Cut - Movie Review

The Movie: Irreversible: Straight Cut

The Director: Gaspar Noé

The Cast: Monica Belucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel

The Story: "One night. An unforgivable act. A tale told in reverse." Now re-cut and told in chronological order.

The Review:
The original movie is one of the most controversial films to ever premiere at Cannes and instantly became a case study on so many different aspects of movie making. Irreversible was not Gaspar Noé's first feature film but it was definitely the one that put him on the map and that spotlight, for better or worse, has followed him ever since. When his movies premiere, there is always an expectation of shock and awe in both good and bad ways and, for me, that was best represented in Climax, one of his more recent films and one that is still just as divisive as Irreversible has always been.

And now Noé brings us a re-cut version of Irreversible that completely changes the narrative by running through the story chronologically rather than in reverse order. This way, the audience gets to know the characters prior to the devastating events that unfold rather then seeing the evils of mankind first before exploring the people involved. As I watched, I still felt a sense of tension and dread and disgust as the story played out although within a very different context.

The original cut shows you the horrific events and then takes a lot of time showing you how many different ways it all could have been avoided by even the smallest of decisions. There was an inevitability that unravels backwards which to me was the source of why the story is so frightening. With this new version of the film, you lose that sensation although in its place is more of an undercurrent of dread that slowly builds up to the pivotal moment of the film and then spills over into rage and fury through to the end.

It almost feels like the movie was remade to fit the new structure although it is 100% the original film which to me makes the whole thing that much more impressive. I mean, it's the same story but the emotions that play out within the narrative are very distinct and the whole thing is a completely new experience. If you are a Gaspar Noé fan, you should definitely have this on your must watch list. If you don't know much about him or his movies, proceed with caution, the director wants you to be disturbed and disrupted although the experience in this case is 100% worth the effort.

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