Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
France, 2002. 120 Films, Canal+, Eskwad, Les Cinémas de la Zone, Nord-Ouest Productions, StudioCanal, Wild Bunch. Screenplay by Gaspar Noe. Cinematography by Benoit Debie, Gaspar Noe. Produced by Christophe Rossignon. Music by Thomas Bangalter. Production Design by Alain Juteau. Costume Design by Laure Culkovic. Film Editing by Gaspar Noe.
Unpleasantness is the cornerstone of this Eurotrash extravaganza, a paltry viewing experience that has Monica Bellucci getting viciously raped in a subway corridor followed by boyfriend Vincent Cassel exacting some very gruesome revenge on the man he thinks might have done it. The film tries to justify its place in art cinema by telling the story backwards, starting with the last scene of Cassel’s revenge and going through to the sweet and quiet ending, but this doesn’t make the story more interesting. Although extremely well acted (Bellucci and Cassel are great together, their private scene in the bedroom and then on the subway with their friend is a knockout), it’s the cinematic equivalent to shooting a staple gun into your leg: a new way to experience pain, but not something you’ll be proud of having done.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Toronto International Film Festival: 2002