for being narratively structured similarly to Christopher Nolan's two
years senior, Memento,
this French film has frequently been compared to its American predecessor.
However, except for their mutual approach to timeline, they are films from
different universes. Sure, both films are dealing with criminal
underworlds and characters in frenetic situations, but the thematic
approach is completely different. Whereas Memento
uses its structure to build a mystery, Irréversible,
actually, has little to hide.
that is where the instinctive, courageous French filmmaker, Gaspar Noé
makes his biggest accomplishment with his film - daring to examine human
emotions and instincts to greater lenghts than most filmmakers have before
him (Bernardo Bertolucci possibly excluded). If there's one doubtless
thing about this film, it is that it stirs up emotion. Whether you'll be
intrigued, disgusted, excited, pissed off, or turned on (for that matter),
Irréversible will get to you. Despite claiming to have been the
one film that most people have walked out on in the history of the Cannes
Festival, it still received several prizes at festivals throughout the
world. That is an indication that Noé isn't only fearless, he's also
shamelessly creative, challenging the borders of known filmatic methods.
The lighting and colour filters have an interesting (albeit obvious) thematic
effect, the camerawork is astounding - ranging from one extremety (wildly
chaotic) to another (daringly dwelling), and - above all - the absolutely
groundbreaking use of sound, including almost inaudible, low-frequence
sounds to physically nauseate the viewer. A film that will make an impact
on anyone who sees it, and that will activate both mind and emotion.