Given that Love director Gasper Noé’s last film was Enter The Void, a film in which a conception is seen from within the womb, it should come as no surprise that Love aims to shock. As if to demonstrate this it opens with a three and a half minute sex scene which includes, shall we say, the ‘climax’ in all its intended 3D glory.
The film tells the story of Murphy (Karl Glusman) as he embarks on a relationship with Electra (Aomi Muyock). As their passionate relationship grows so does their lust for new sexual highs. Having seemingly exhausted their sexual exploration the pair meet new neighbour Omi (Klara Kristin) and soon enroll her into their bedroom repertoire. But with Murphy and Electra’s relationship being volatile at best it soon transpires that Omi may have an agenda of her own.
About midway through Love Murphy, who is clearly a Noé avatar in this world, turns to Electra and informs her that he wants to “make movies out of blood, sperm and tears”. It’s fair to say Noé has succeeded in making the last two but you are left wondering to what end?
Because while the film hints at another theme stated within: the “sentimental sexuality” it leaves you feeling empty of emotion. Such is Noé’s insistence to pepper the film with sex scenes that you rapidly grow weary of its over two-hour running time.
There are times where the film hints at a level of intimacy but when it’s bathed in Noé’s seedy red lighting it always feels as if it’s just moments away from another gratuitous rumble in the bedroom. It’s frustrating because this is clearly a subject Noé wants to explore, he wants to present an essay on modern love and the need for something to gratify them more than a sexual encounter. But he fails to truly hook into the subject matter and as such leaves you feeling bombarded with sexual imagery rather than captivated by the power of a sexual act and the ramifications something so natural can have on the human sense of worth.
For a film that aims for the same ideals and succeeds seek out Shame because this Love is the tainted kind.