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Enter The Void DVD Review

Life after death abounds in this hugely engrossing, experimental film that will enamour and divide in equal measure.

Life after death abounds in
this hugely engrossing, experimental film that will enamour and divide in equal
measure.

Gasper Noe is not a filmmaker who
panders to his audience. For him directing is a means of exploring dark
residual feelings, that lurk deep within us all but boil to the fore through
artistic expression. Enter The Void is not a film that will hook you in to a
narrative, but instead lull you with its hypnotic execution and stunning
visuals while alienating you through its sheer bombastic self-worth.

Oscar
(Brown) is a small time drug dealer
living with his sister Linda (de le
Huerta
) in Tokyo. One night he is caught in a drug sting and shot dead by
the police. Rising out from his body his soul watches the lives of those around
him as they deal with the aftermath of his death.

Like
Noe’s previous film Irreversible
(2002) Enter The Void delights in playing with the convention of storytelling.
Irreversible successfully told a story from the end backwards to heartbreaking,
and often brutal, effect. Here Noe goes one step further and shoots the whole
film from the point of view of Oscar and his departed soul. As such Enter The
Void becomes more of an experience than a piece of film narrative. We are living
these moments with Oscar. So when he takes a hallucinogenic drug we are
bombarded with the kaleidoscopic visuals that brain manifests.

With
this is mind you cannot help but be sucked into the endless possibilities on
offer as Oscar’s soul flits between the people in his life. In particular we
travel back to the death of his and Linda’s parents and the promise to his
younger sister that he will never leave her, even in death. Of course this
being a Noe film there is no happy family to be seen here. Instead Oscar
harbours fairly incestuous feelings towards his sister who herself is a
stripper in a local club. Never let it be said that Noe is one to shy from
something hedonistic, sadistic or altogether warped as it is all clearly on
display here.

At
times Noe’s execution is so staggering to behold that you lose sight of what is
actually happening. Never before has a director’s camera been so utterly
unrestricted. There is no limit to where Oscar’s point of view can take us and
at times this descends into risqué moments that will have some wondering why it
was necessary. On the flip side the visuals are something that cinefiles will pour
over for many years to come. Tokyo is presented in such a way it puts to shame
the over the top colours of The
Wachowski Brother
’s Speed Racer
(2008) and in doing so lends an other worldly quality to Oscar’s after life.

However,
there are times when you wonder what it is all about. Noe’s direction and
premise is marvellous but his writing is questionable. The dialogue often feels
clunky and over expositional. An early reference to The Tibetan Book Of The Dead
makes it abundantly clear what is in store come Oscar’s untimely demise.
Although many ideas and theories are laid out the one overriding aspect Noe
seems to truly grasp is that of life after death. Crucially though it is not
Oscar’s life but those around him. He is on a journey, akin to that of the Star
Child from Kubrick’s 2001; A Space Odessey (1968) a film that is clearly rifted
on, but his destination is unknown. What becomes clear though is that despite
his death, life does go on. He is no longer involved in it as anything other
than an observer but we see how Linda and the people from Oscar’s life are
shaped and affected by his death.

A
journey into the unknown Enter The Void is an immersive a cinematic experience
as you are ever likely to encounter. The problem is that being transported into
a world through the eyes of Gasper Noe is not one that will appeal to all.
Irrelevant of this, take a breath, hold tight and Enter The Void because it is
evidence that some filmmakers are determined to push the medium, and this is a
prime example.

To celebrate the DVD Release of Enter The Void on Monday 25th April we have a signed poster of the film by Director Gasper Noe and two additional posters for the runners up. For you chance to win tell us the funniest thing you would do if you were a ghost (keep it clean people!). Send your entries to competitions@filmjuice.com before 9th May 2011.

To Buy Enter The Void On DVD Go Here Or Blu-Ray Go Here


Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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