- Gaspar Noť
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, August 06, 2008
One cold night in Paris, Marcus (Vincent Cassel) and his friend Pierre (Albert Dupontel) end up in a hardcore gay club looking for a man known as Le Tenia (Jo Prestia) in order to seek revenge, as this man hurt Marcusís girlfriend Alex (Monica Bellucci) earlier that day.
Gaspar Noť directed from his own screenplay. If it looks like the premise is too simple itís because it is. The process of discovery is essential for the enjoyment and understanding of a movie like this, the catch being that it moves backwards in time. It all takes place in one day and we start with the ending and gradually move back to the beginning. There are twelve sequences that were shot in continuous takes, giving the story a palpable sense of crude realism.
The opening scene is almost unbearable to watch. It takes place in the aforementioned club and after a lot of rumbling something happens that will test your endurance to violence. But thatís not the most controversial scene in the movie; that would belong to an 8-or-9 minute sequence in which a woman is horribly raped and beaten. It is a difficult scene to watch because we as the audience feel the need to intervene yet we can only stand there as witnesses; it is brutal and appalling.
After being presented with these instances of graphic violence itís impossible not to think that the real star of the movie is not one of the actors but director Noť himself. From the beginning his camera movements (which do become annoying after a while) call too much attention to themselves. Then the story moves on and I started to wonder if it wasnít all too pretentious, just too much. Thatís when I opted to shut up and keep watching. Eventually the movie itself gave me the answer; Noť actually needs to be that explicit to make his point. As the sequences eventually become lighter, we start to notice the drastic change and realize thereís a point behind the way he shot what had preceded them. Risky, yes, but mainly brave.
To be honest, while I was watching the movie I didnít really know what I felt about it. But after the next hours and days I started to feel more strongly about it. To this day the more I think about it the more I like it. Noť took an interesting concept about how time kills everything and threw it out there employing en effective gimmick that leads to a shocking finale in the most unconventional of ways. This is the kind of movie where itís impossible not to have a strong reaction, and thatís never a bad thing when dealing with an artistic expression.
The main actors, who are married in real life, deliver incredibly affecting performances. Drop-dead gorgeous Monica Bellucci commits bravely to her character and gives it her all; it is work of amazing courage and sheís equally good in intense or more intimate scenes. Vincent Cassel also leaves a strong impression as a man who sees his life crumble in an instant and feels the need to canalize that anger in the most savage of ways. Supporting performers are all strong.
ďYouíre behaving like an animal. Even animals donít seek revenge.Ē
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