Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: Enter the Void (2010)

Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void is 2010's award winning psychedelic, independent roller coaster of a film. The film takes you through the last hours (and beyond) of Oscar's (Nathaniel Brown) life through a first person perspective. Oscar and his sister Linda (Paz de la Puerta) were separated at a young age due to their parents dying in a car wreck. Oscar is determined to re-acquaint with Linda, and does so by selling enough drugs to buy her a ticket to Tokyo. Upon arriving in Tokyo, Linda and anyone else associated with Oscar is pulled into his downward spiral of drug use. The spiral comes to an early halt as Oscar is murdered by local authorities as a direct result of his problem. At this point we, as an audience, are taken on Oscar's journey in the after life from a third person perspective as he views all of the wreckage he has left behind. Enter the Void may be one of the most original, artistic, compelling, bizarre, and dramatic films I have ever seen, but that does not mean that I enjoyed it. Noe portrayed hallucinations and the afterlife like no other being has before, and for that he deserves to be recognized. The sexual content of the film was at times unbearably brutal, and the drama was at times overly desolating much like a Jodi Picoult Novel (My Sister's Keeper, The Pact) or Requiem for a Dream on Acid. From a critics standpoint, I cannot call this film bad simply due to my dislike of it; it was effective and fertile. Void was at many times quite boring and discomforting mainly due to the numerous long, drawn out camera pans and zooms that the cinematographer must have been a bit too excited and confident about. I would reframe from recommending this film to any viewer with epilepsy or anyone beyond drastically-dark artistic viewers because of its extremely graphic content that has been permanently burned into my oculars. Enter the Void certainly stands independently as the most original film I've ever viewed, but due its unnecessary roughness and the fact that it long over-stays its welcome at 2 hours and 43 minutes, I give the film 11/2 stars.

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