After what would normally be the end credits (which
run backwards), IRREVERSIBLE begins with a heated hunt through a
gay S&M club. It is a chaotic sequence shot from a wildly
spiraling camera seamlessly edited together to appear as one
single shot and culminating in one of the most violent murders
ever portrayed on celluloid. Following this crescendo, Gaspar
Noe's (I STAND ALONE) film uses a reverse narrative structure
similar to MEMENTO through which the audience learns the
motivations for the murder and the relationships of three parties
directly involved, the beautiful Alex (Monica Bellucci) and two
men who adore her (Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel). The
frenzied style of the opening gives way to increasingly static
camera work throughout leading to an idyllic final shot of Alex,
who the audience has long known is a doomed woman, set to
Beethoven and alive with color and youthful innocence otherwise
absent from this bleak urban nightmare. The film disregards
conventional editing by ending each scene with a dizzying camera
whirl. Since each scene is intended to look like a single take
(although there are seamless cuts throughout), this gives the film
the appearance of one continuous shot.
"...A seductive and powerful film..."
"...Noe's considerable accomplishment is to
examine the relationship between life and art, time and memory.
IRREVERSIBLE means to knock you for a loop. It does..."
"...An amazing, and profoundly disturbing,
experience....[Noe is] a new kind of film wizard: a poet of
"...This confrontationalist is a moviemaker
"...Moral at a structural level..."
Theatrical Release: MARCH 7, 2003 (NY/LA)
"...Taken as an exploitation flick -- Noe's
preference -- this is 100 effective, guaranteed to shock and