Monday, July 18, 2005

Review - Sin City

Holy shit! This is an *awesome* movie! And I’m using the word euphemistically here…The style it oozes pretty much matches the blood the characters do. Rodriguez (‘Desperado’) is so good my awe over his talents has just surpassed my envy of them. And I hadn’t even heard of the comic series until this one came out.

So I’ve read books that blurred the line between poetry and prose, watched movies that mixed and matched genres, but nothing prepared me for this sort of an adaptation of a comic book. ‘The Hulk’ comes close but doesn’t quite cut it. The whole frames-sliding-in thing was a novelty alright, but it got tiring after a while. But this flick, this flick IS a comic book – partly due to the voice-over style of narration. An otherwise rather over-used plot device, it’s used to such good effect here [its pretty much like someone’s reading the comic for you], makes you wonder why other comic book adaptations didn’t think of something that obvious. – and partly due to the cinematography and screenplay. The cars are always jumping into the scene from the other side of a road-bump, headlights blazing and reflected on the shiny tar. And the film is shot using the chiaroscuro (fancy Italian for light-n-shade or B&W) technique (apparently just like the original comics were drawn), with the exception of blood, which is all sorts of colours including but not limited to red, blonde hair, which is well, blonde, and the Yellow Bastard, who is well, yellow. In fact, he couldn’t have been more yellow, given that there’s no other colour on the screen to distract you from it.

Apparently, Frank Miller, the creator of the dark and gloomy comic, disappointed with earlier Hollywood adaptation(s?), vowed not to sell out. So Rodriguez made the movie without his permission and sent him a copy. Way to break Miller’s inhibitions :D…The story-telling is very reminiscent of pulp fiction – awesome dialogues, cool soundtrack, awesome dialogues, interwoven and time-bending stories, highly interesting characters, did I mention awesome dialogues? The only difference (glaring only in hindsight) is probably the fact that none of the characters use the f word ever. ‘Pulp Fiction’ apparently uses it about 217 times. [I know, useless bit of trivia…:D]

On to the content then. There are 4 main stories with characters spanning the whole spectrum from larger-than-life good to perversely evil. The lead characters in all four narrate their own stories, all in the same style – crisp, short and wry. Yes, all the gory stuff is supposed to be sickening, but you can’t help nodding in approval when good kicks evil’s ass, just like the comic…err…movie, intended. Like one of the characters (Mickey Rourke) says, “the one good thing about killing bad guys is, you don’t have to feel bad doing it”. And the awesome dialogues (I could’ve sworn I didn’t mention them before) make even the perverse stuff funny and tolerable.

Go watch the movie already!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Eros - Movie Review

Eros is an anthology of 3 short films, each a different acclaimed director’s take on eroticism. It’s a nice mix, any which way you look at it. One Hong-kie (Wong Kar Wai), the other American (Steve Soderbergh) and the third Italian (Michelangelo Antonioni); one classy and old-school, the other whacky and irreverent, and the third pretentious and senile; and as for the shorts, one HOT, the other funny and vaguely erotic, and the third pathetic!.

The Hand
For me, this was the best of the lot. Immensely erotic, this one stars the still-stunningly-beautiful Gong Li, and some lucky bastard whose name I couldn’t be bothered to look up, in the lead roles. And to top it off, the photography for this segment is by Chris Doyle – the guy both Kar Wai and Zhang Yimou swear by – and is very reminiscent of other Kar Wai movies like ‘In the Mood for Love’. It tells the story of a high-class escort who has fallen upon bad times, and her tailor who hasn’t stopped loving her. The scene where the rookie tailor is summoned into her chambers as a sort of an interview is as sensual as it is funny.

This one, as is usual with a Soderbergh movie, is very stylish and whacky. It starts off with the camera panning to and fro to catch glimpses of a woman taking a bath, through the partially-open door. We realize that it’s the POV of somebody lying on the bed and watching her get ready. Cut to a shrink (Alan Arkin)’s office, and an ad exec (Robert Downey Jr.) is relating the previous scene as a recurring dream. This scene is in B&W, with the dream in color. And this whole scene is a riot! The shrink gets the patient to face away from him on the couch and close his eyes while relating his tale, so that he can divert his attentions to the presumably (as we don’t see her) hot babe in the office across the street. And not satisfied with just ‘looking’ with his binoculars (which he gets stealthily from his desk while egging the patient on to continue describing the dream), he shoots off a ‘paper rocket’, sets a coffee date in sign-language, and sneaks out of the office. Hilarious.

The dangerous thread of things
This one bears an uncanny resemblance to all those b-grade movies which wed porn with unintentional comedy. You know that thin line between eroticism and pornography, don’t you? Well, Antonioni obviously doesn’t. The plotlines are screwed almost as frequently as the women on screen. Then I figured its just porn and I might as well sit back and enjoy it for what it is. And Antonioni, for all his faults, is redoubtable in his choice of gorgeous female characters. [Luisa Ranieri is the name to look for, for the curious ones :)).] And when the much-awaited scene did roll into place, this rotten old bastard sitting next to me RUINED it for me, by promptly unzipping his pants and beating off. Then again, there couldn’t have been a more emphatic, if disgusting, pronouncement on the artistic merits of this segment. Maybe that’s the idea of the whole movie too – to show us the difference between eroticism and porn. But it’s a pity the guy who this anthology was supposed to be a tribute to, ends up making the worst of the three.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

On Art-appreciation

Blogger’s Note:- I’m currently reading, inter alia, Durant’s Story of Philosophy (yes, I know I should’ve read it much earlier, so sue me), so pardon the spillover effects of OD’ing on philosophical stuff, such as the boring-ass-sounding blog title and the accompanying brain-dump.

So I was in the thick of the section on Kant discussing esthetics, when my mind went off on a tangent about the bewildering variance from person to person, in the allure of different art forms. More specifically, it got me wondering whether one is born-with/wired-to-like the type of art form(s) that one finds appealing. In some cases, it is readily apparent: for instance, one needs a refined palate to become an oenophile. Not so apparent with others that one might pick up much later in life, as is the case with me and my passions – books (didn’t touch one until I was 14), movies (discovered my voracious appetite for them as late as about 3 years ago), and more recently, photography (months-old). The way I see it, it’s a curious concoction of mental-makeup, the experiences that shape it, and the timing of the introduction.

Obviously, I am not referring to the ones one gets sucked into by peer pressure. Or maybe those too – one might be wired to be part of the herd. But what I am really fascinated by are the ones that are, like I said, Passions – things you would/could seek joy in, despite all else. Despite the individual variance in tastes, I see a surprising similitude not only in the behavioral manifestations of various passions but also in the underlying patterns governing them. Typical -phile qualities include any/all of: a well-honed discerning instinct, a constant recognition of the life-affirming qualities of that particular art-form, an almost conceited disdain for popular tastes in the same, and an insatiable appetite for related trivia. On the other hand, all art-forms are characterized by a resolute refusal to be pinned down by the exacting influences of science. Every one of them is a unified and evolving duality of static (rules/science) and dynamic (creativity). And it is probably this enigmatic duality that makes its -philes idolize it as the basis/philosophy of life, in the first place. Like pieces of a hologram, each of them is an exact likeness of the life they imitate.

Just the other day, I was trying to explain to a friend why I loved the movie ‘Sideways’, so much. She obviously hated it. Among other things, the movie’s about an oenophile throwing a week-long wine-tour of a bachelor party to a friend who’s getting hitched soon, through California’s wine country. Watching a chap animatedly elaborating on his passion(s) is quite a joy, I must say. And I think it is that underlying likeness among arts and the ways in which we appreciate them, that helps us identify with him so readily…

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Mind-blowing Work of Staggering Genius OR Why Kurosawa kicks ass

...with due apologies to Dave Eggers

I’m as nutty as a fruitcake when it comes to Kurosawa’s movies, so kindly indulge me in my hyperbole. This is more a write-up on Kurosawa’s oeuvre rather than any particular film. I’ve used instances in certain of his films as examples though. This turned out to be rather longish despite my most earnest efforts, so we’ll relegate more elaborate discussions on specific films of his to the comments section. So without further ado…

Two things (and the concomitant synergies) going for Kurosawa: master story-telling and brilliant technique. But we’re so used to speech or even sound effects in movies that long stretches of film without either can kick in boredom. (Was it Kubrick who refused to comment on ‘2001…’ saying something about not wanting to take away from what the camera was saying?). The key to enjoying Kurosawa’s body of work then is to think of visuals as a substitute for dialogue. Especially when he gives you so much time to soak in everything in a particular frame. It’s like he knew beforehand exactly what he wanted in each frame of the film. I have probably said this before, but his shot compositions have almost a mathematical precision to them. You can actually count the number of frames in some of his movies. Rashomon, for instance, opens with the camera zooming in on a dilapidated temple and two people taking refuge there from the rain, all done in 4 frames. And the B&W scenes are so sharp they crackle. Rashomon also has a fantastic 3-4-min-long scene of (Takashi) Shimura’s character ambling down a forest trail with the camera occasionally peeking up at the sun from under the forest’s canopy.

I also adore the subtle ways in which Kurosawa shows the oppressiveness of Japan’s climes. Both Yojimbo and Rashomon have gorgeous shots of rain pelting down so hard and rhythmically, it is palpable. And in ‘Stray Dog’, all that Kurosawa uses to give us an indication of a hot and humid Tokyo(?) is Shimura’s character incessantly wiping the sweat off his face with a handkerchief. Halfway into the movie, the heat starts to get onto your nerves too.

Enough about technique. Moving on to the story-telling, for me at least, his movies are utterly engrossing. I didn’t even realize Seven Samurai was that long (about 200 minutes). It had me so hooked! From the despicably pathetic lot of the farmers to marshalling the rag-tag samurai army to planning and strategizing the attack against the bandits. And the climax. Did I mention the climax!
In the very minimalistic Rashomon (there are about 8 characters in all), he uses the story-told-from-multiple perspectives ploy to describe a murder in a forest clearing. We feel much like the bum prodding the woodcutter to continue with the story. No two versions of the story match, with each narrator distorting it to suit his/her needs but also confessing to the crime. The ‘true’ series of events is never revealed, leaving us to mull over the human condition. A naïve priest whose faith in the inherent goodness of man is shaken to the core and an amoral, street-smart bum add to the interesting line-up of characters.
Yojimbo tells the story of a ronin living by his wits in the thick of a gang-war between two gambling clans in a village. And you know what? It’s the best western I ever saw! A very well-knit plot with smart moves and countermoves. And there is even a gorgeous leaf-caught-in-the-wind scene!

And almost all of his movies are peppered with this very enjoyable, often subtle, slice-of-life kind of humor. For instance, in Seven Samurai, the day after the rookie samurai sleeps with a farmer’s daughter, Shimura’s character goes “he’s a man now” and everybody breaks into a laugh. Or the wry wit of the opening scene in Yojimbo, when (Toshiro) Mifune – a wandering Ronin – decides his direction at a fork in the road after throwing a twig in the air and seeing which way it points when it lands. Or the way Mifune and the bar-keep in Yojimbo snigger as they watch from behind a window (with the camera behind them) the village official’s elaborate bribe-taking ritual. Or the hilarious (to me at least) court sequences in Rashomon (each character narrates his/her version of the story to the camera) with the narrating character at the centre of the frame and the other two sitting meek and cross-legged in the background to the right of the frame.

So there you have it – why I love Kurosawa’s movies. My favorites are: Rashomon, Yojimbo, Ran and Seven Samurai (in random order...can’t seem to find it in me to rank them :)…)

Friday, October 08, 2004

Film Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Set aside everything that you look for in a movie. Don’t you just *love* the title of the movie? ‘The long, dark tea-time of the soul’, ‘Catcher in the Rye’, ‘The winter of our discontent’, ‘The General in his labyrinth’, how the fuck do people come up with names of such endearing, enduring beauty?!

Ok, enough gushing about the title. Let me move on. The scriptwriter (yeah, for this particular movie/theme he’s the man, not the director…) is Charlie Kaufman (of ‘Being John Malkovich’ and ‘Adaptation’ fame). Unfortunately I’ve been unable to get hold of either of these movies but I heard a heckuva lot about them and eagerly lapped this movie up. And I was richly rewarded for the same.

In a nutshell, the movie tries to give us a glimpse into the incredibly complex inner workings of a mind. It performs this seemingly humongous task by telling us a story which has at least three discernible (to me) layers to it. At the surface, it is the story of Joel (Jim Carrey) who’s trying to come to terms with his break-up with Clementine (Kate Winslet). In the depths of his agony, he finds out from a common friend that Clem has had her memory of Joel systematically erased through a scientific process patented by a company called Lacuna Inc. (the movie is so beautiful that I’m sure you will have it in your heart to grant Kaufman the privilege of suspending your disbelief). He can’t take the depression anymore and decides to go for this operation himself.

At a level only marginally under the surface, the movie works as a comedy with the characters very lovingly etched. But at the core of the movie is the deeper third layer which puts a metaphysical spin on the story. A significant chunk of the movie dwells on the actual deletion of each of the memories of Clem that Joel has in his mind (the science of the process has something to do with creating a map of Clem by scanning Joel’s mind after he’s shown gifts/photos/things that remind him of her, and his responses registered…and deleting this map overnight). Somewhere during the process, Joel decides that this whole deletion business was a bad idea to start with but alas, he can’t stop it now because he’s comatose while the system is performing the deletion. Comedy collides with metaphysics as Joel desperately tries to beat the system while being under its influence.

There are some surprises and beautiful moments along the way but I don’t want to spoil it for you by revealing them here. The ethics of such an operating procedure and the people involved in it could be thought of as another issue that the movie dwells on, but it was never about that. It was really about how incredibly complex human relationships are. And it’s a commendable achievement to concoct a story that captures these complex inner workings of a mind, let alone two minds that want to have a relationship! My only grouse was with the ending which i found a tad disappointing, but its probably just urs cynically.

Film Review: Zatoichi (Japanese)

The blurb on the posters says it all: “Zatoichi can kill Bill in 2 minutes, let alone 2 movies”. The movie was going like a song, until they f***ed it up with the last scene. It was so jarring! Wish I could’ve said it was a great movie. Anyways, here’s a break-up of what made the movie tick and what didn’t:

The Good
The Editing/Story-telling: there are 4 to 5 parallel story-threads going, some even symbolic in their juxtaposition. And nowhere does the editing feel tacky/patchy.

The Swash-buckling: delightful (although gory) samurai sword-fights. There are at least 3 showdowns if my memory goes right, not to mention the numerous one-sided fights. And the post-stab blood-gushing (the only consolation for the faint-of-heart is that the fights are rather short-lived.) is IMO a tad more realistic than in Kill Bill Vol.1 (with due respect to the latter movie, which I absolutely adore).

The Soundtrack: one example that immediately comes to mind is this very cool scene where four farmers plough the soil to the tune of the background score.

The Feel of the movie: I am a sucker for movies that can bring to life the ambience of the period/place they are set in (e.g.:- cinema paradiso, y tu mama tambien etc). The villagers, the roads, the sliding doors, the geishas, the tavern, the gambling dens…the works! The frames/shot compositions are really good and so are the production values. Its also a situational comedy to boot. Some enjoyable scenes are the conversations among sake-savoring bums at the watering hole.

The Bad/Ugly
The climax has alternating scenes of Zatoichi kicking the Ginzo clan’s butt (which are all very slick), and young village folk tap-dancing on a stage (all we’re told is that they’re celebrating ‘the festival’). I personally feel the latter was totally unnecessary and a very bad way of ending an otherwise chic flick. Also, a neat twist towards the end wasn't quite given the pride of place it deserved.

The Story-line
Zatoichi is this blind, old, good-natured wandering masseur whose walking stick doubles up as a deadly samurai’s sword in his faster-than-light moves. He wanders into this village which is plagued by the Ginzo clan’s mafia. The Ginzo clan hires another (seemingly) equally-skilled Ronin to protect their interests and wipe out competing clans. The Ronin has his reasons for taking the path of the un-righteous.A brother and sister duo (both dressed as Geishas), go around avenging the virtual massacre of their well-to-do family at the hands of Ginzo’s men. Zatoichi assists them in their revenge.Zatoichi takes shelter at an old woman’s place in the village. She and her nephew form part of another parallel track. The tavern-owner and the conversations revolving around him are yet another parallel track.

My Take
Recommended for those who don’t mind violence, and enjoy Japanese (for instance, I just love the way the language sounds :)…) and/or Samurai movies (and no, ‘last samurai’ doesn’t count, even though I haven’t watched it...:p).

I only know the guy who played Zatoichi – Takeshi Kitano (check out his chilling performance in ‘Brother’). He is also the director of the movie.

Rambling: The Nature of my Addictions

Here I am, staring at my notebook’s screen, with a deadline for a report breathing so closely down my neck that I can actually feel the moisture in the whiff, and absolutely devoid of any drive to finish it…and what do I do instead? I indulge in as many of my likes as I can…anything to take my mind off the impending fires of mount doom…I snap my notebook shut and go play pool…I re-read this funny book…and when I’m done with the book and am too weary to start another, I catch up on all the blogs I missed, all the delightfully funny comments that I could think up equally funny (or so I’d like to think…) repartees to but now cannot post because the moment has passed…and then I have this irresistible urge to write…something…anything…

So what better topic to yak about than what’s burning me up right now…the nature of my addictions which I plunge head-first into, to the exclusion of everything I am ‘supposed to do’, with a mad escapist glee…there seems to be no logical explanation to it…I know the consequences of missing the deadline…I know it’d cost me a sleepless night of painstaking effort to make up for lost time…and yet, this dumb streak in me says, ‘its just like those million other times when you pulled it off’…and every time I pull it off, I only give this dumb streak more ammo to lull me into my delusions of grandeur…

And then I realize that the addictions themselves have nothing to do with it…they’re drawing flak merely because they are the outward manifestation of my abject lack of drive…in fact, they’re not addictions at all…I can stop them and I have no withdrawal symptoms (at least not yet…)…I keep going back to them merely because my mind’s down on its knees begging me to do something that interests it…it yearns for that adrenaline rush…

Motivation is one elusive bastard…it has this sneaky way of sidling up and getting to you when you least expect it…might as well go so far as to call it happiness’s less-illustrious sibling…I’ve seen any number of my batch-mates with practically Dillon mini-guns up their butts…its almost as if they’re possessed…at times like these I wistfully long for those scattered moments in my life when I had a bullet up my butt too…but can never reconstruct them again…and so I trudge along on the road of my life, looking for that elusive muse, hoping for some gratuitous handout of serendipity…

PS:- Strictly to be consumed with a ton of salt…I know this phase will pass…its just that this has been a recurring theme of late, and I thought I’ll put it through the catharsis that is Writing (for me at least...)…pardon the rantings...:)

PPS:- also trying my hand at the stream-of-consciousness style of writing :) the risk of sounding immodest, i wrote it in one breath with very few changes...dunno if i captured it tho...comments hereon will be much appreciated :)...

PPPS:- A Dillon mini-gun is the fastest freakin' gun in the fires 30-calibre shells @ 3000 rounds per minute...

Film Review: Lost in Translation

One word: Wow! Ladies and gentlemen, Sofia Coppola (the director) has arrived! This movie has awesome cinematography, awesome screenplay, awesome performances and awesome dialogues. Sounds like a dream, huh? Well, read on and decide for yourself…

The first shot, even before the titles roll out, is of the beautiful posterior of a woman lying on a bed, as seen through her translucent undies (not a sexist comment this. Just acknowledging a thing of beauty :)). And you instantly get a good feeling about the movie. Not just because of what the shot shows but also because of the lazy, laid-back way in which the camera gazes at it.

Bill Murray plays a Hollywood actor past his prime (there’s an irony for you!) who’s come down to Tokyo to do a whisky commercial. The first scene shows him checking into a hotel and being helped out by his to-be-escorts from the whisky company. The expression on his face for about the first half hour of the movie is one of extreme disinterest in everything. He is just going through the motions. He doesn’t sleep too fitfully. On a parallel track, we see Scarlett Johansson (it was her posterior in the first shot,you realise...:)) lodging at the same hotel, accompanying her newlywed husband on his business trip to Tokyo. We see that the guy is almost never around, and she’s worried that maybe marrying him wasn’t a good idea. She can’t sleep well either. But this is not to say that this part of the movie is sad. Bill with his dazed face is outrageously funny at times.

Bill meets Scarlett at the Hotel’s bar, both driven down there by their insomnia. Introductions are made, Bill plays the marriage counselor to Scarlett for a while, and they like each other and decide to meet again. And from that point on, you feel the spark between the two. They connect. And you see their previously disinterested faces suddenly infused with life. Suddenly, everything Bill says is funny. The guy’s on a roll! There’s one scene where the two are sitting in this Japanese restaurant where u sit right across the chef and he cooks your food in front of your eyes. Bill is making Scarlett roll on the floor with laughter but the chef’s expression is totally deadpan. And then Bill goes: ‘hey, what’s with the straight face?’ I laughed so hard at that!

Bill’s stay at Tokyo is drawing to a close. He’s done with the commercial. And you see the sadness set in through the beautifully expressive faces of Bill and Scarlett. There is a tragi-comical scene in the lift the night before Bill’s leaving. There’s an awkward silence and when the lift stops at Bill’s floor, he can’t figure out how to say goodbye. The lift starts moving up before he can decide. Both laugh at this and when it stops at Scarlett’s floor, all they can manage is a peck on the cheek and a mumbled goodbye. I won’t spoil it for you by disclosing the ending scene. The word closure comes to mind. When you reflect on the movie later on, you can’t help thinking that the ending is perfect.

A word or two on the technical aspects of the movie…The movie is very slow. My review is positive because I enjoy this sort of movies (consider this a warning if u don’t like slow movies…:)). When the actors are reflective, you know they are reflective because the camera freezes there to show the actors reflecting. I do not know what the technical name is but the camera uses a particular filter that lends a soft hue to everything. This movie is shot entirely with this filter. Everything’s shot with Japan and its vibrant, eccentric (I don’t mean this in a bad way) culture in the backdrop. The camera as well as the actors are just amused by it; they don’t make any value judgments about it. I think it’s a thin line and kudos to Sofia for pulling it off without crossing the line.

Film Review: Irreversible (French)

Solicitous warning: this movie is not for the faint of heart. It has two of the most gruesome scenes that I’ve ever seen on celluloid. I barely made it through the movie by occasionally shutting my eyes tight.

I must confess at the outset that I am a sucker for foreign language films that have something to do with festivals such as Cannes or Sundance (well, it has worked for me so far :)). So when I saw these so-called symbols of good film-making on the posters for ‘Irreversible’, not to mention Monica Belluci in the cast, I assumed any (ahem..) healthy adult’s disposition towards the movie. Little was I to know that the movie would catch me with my pants down, in a manner of speaking, with its unflinching depiction of revenge and rape (in that order). But disturbing as it may be, I really liked the movie. More about why, towards the end.

This is one of those reverse-chronology movies (not many around. The first to use this technique was ‘betrayal’, then ‘memento’. This is the third as far as I know). But the technique fits so well with what the movie wants to say that the story told in the normal fashion would’ve missed the point.

Anyway, as the beginning titles roll out, you see everything in reverse order (the way you’d see words if you were reading something from the mirror). Silly gimmick, you think to yourself. Then the camera pans the depressing face of a building and zeroes in on a window, into a room with two old men, one naked, talking. By now you gather from the shaky and grainy shots, that the camera is a handheld. From the room, the camera moves on to a BDSM club aptly named ‘the rectum’. By now, the camera has acquired a life of its own, convulsing away, and you begin to wonder if the director’s hobbies include lomography. The time’s ripe for the first gruesome scene – the revenge. The camera is after 2 guys who are frenziedly looking for a guy called ‘Le Tenia’. They finally suspect one guy to be him, and one of the two grabs a fire extinguisher and repeatedly pounds the poor sod’s face with it. He goes on and on with his pounding and the camera can’t take its eyes off the face getting beaten to pulp (and you think to yourself, why can’t the fucking camera have its fits now).

Then slowly, the story retraces its steps. So the next scene has the two looking for ‘the rectum’, followed by the two asking for ‘Le Tenia’ and being directed to ‘the rectum’, and so on, until the story comes back to Alex (monica belluci) walking through a deserted subway and accosted by a guy (Le Tenia) and raped. Now this is to put it very simply. The rape scene is about 8-9 minutes long, where the camera freezes on the scene again to unflinchingly watch a woman being mercilessly raped and abused and defaced. Closing your eyes won’t suffice. You’ll also have to shut your ears tight too.

Only after this scene do you come to know that the two guys looking for Le Tenia are Marcus (Alex’s fiancé) and his friend (and Alex’s ex-lover). The movie ends with a very warm and leisurely scene with both Alex and Marcus completely and comfortably nude.

Enough about the movie. Let me ponder a while on why I like it. This is one of those movies that you reflect on. The buck doesn’t stop with ‘The End’. You think about the reverse chronology, you understand why the revenge had to be so brutal, and you try to see if the movie would have the same effect if shot in the normal way. And then you begin to see the beauty of the movie title, Irreversible. You see layers upon layers of metaphor, not to mention irony. You see the irreversibility of the rape and the mad frenzy and thirst for revenge that it sets off. And by reversing that irreversible sequence of events, the director has ended up making a movie that dwells on how threadbare the fabric of happiness is, and how blissful ignorance is (You, as the viewer, however, are cursed with the knowledge of the rape, and value the tender final scene that much more). Shot the normal way, it would merely have been another run-of-the-mill rape-revenge movie, completely robbed of its subtle social commentary.