The Big Debate over Enter the Void

Recently I came up with an easy and convenient way to spread the opinions of several of my friends and myself together in one location for one post. I passed around my newly purchased copy of Gaspar Noé’s stunning Enter the Void to my girlfriend and three other friends and asked them to email me a short review of what they thought of the film, followed by a rating out of ten. They were surprisingly compliant, and here are the results. I’ll start with my review first:

Tyler’s Review:

From its earthshattering, explosive opening sequence which passes seemingly in the blink of an eye to the tune of pulsing techno music to explicit sex, nudity and violence colouring the screen like the textures of the hues of drug-induced fantasy that also decorates the frame, the new film from Gaspar Noé is something indeed. I was unsure when it would become available in this country, but, so fantastically impressed with his previous Irreversible, I went ahead and bought it off Amazon anyway, and it blew me away. Visually impressive and quite original, Noé has made a slow-paced film, indeed, but a marvellous one, and one I wouldn’t cut a second from. 9/10.

Ashley’s Review:

I had trouble watching Enter the Void. It wasn’t the same kind of trouble I encountered when I burst out crying at the end of Irreversible, but it was similar. Gaspar Noé seems to be a constantly evolving filmmaker. Tyler convinced me to watch I Stand Alone, Noé’s first movie, and it seems that it was the first of three thematically similar but stylistically different steps. While Noé hasn’t captured the same emotional essence of Irreversible, it definitely looks like it has strived for a more visually wholesome effect. Noé takes his time here, making each move with ridiculous but sensible pace, and manages to create a dubiously artistic piece of work. 7/10.

Stephen’s Review:

Wow. First, can I just say, those credits… fucking amazing. Well done, Gaspar Noé, you’ve made credits as systematically memorable as those of, oh say, Psycho, but as mind-fuckingly unique as Se7en. But it kind of goes downhill from there. I see what he’s getting at and why you like it so much, but he does go just a tiny bit overboard, doncha think? If I wanna see some LSD sequence type shit I’ll watch 2001, I don’t need Noé recreating it for me. The film lacks originality, but thankfully it makes up for it with some fucking awesome cinematography. The whole first-person viewpoint thing… genius! Who’d’ve thought of that? No one else but this guy, obviously. 6/10.

Ryan’s Review:

This needs to be cut. Big time. I like it… it’s just too goddamn long! Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) has called this the best movie he’s ever made. A big overstatement. Irreversible is the best movie he’s made, and even then, it’s only barely great. Enter the Void has the annoying disability of Noé as a director… sure, if he’d sold the script to someone else it would be completely different, but he really sank his teeth too far into this one and went overboard, resulting in an unintentionally boring and unneccessarily explicit movie. I mean, Irreversible had sex and violence, but all of that was warranted and (dare I say it) necessary. None of this is necessary. 4/10.

Andrew’s Review:

I’ll be honest… I watched this twice. Yuh-huh. I liked it that much. I didn’t want to see it twice, I had to. Not to understand it or anything, but just to experience its conditional beauty and simultaneous ugliness once more. I don’t often watch a movie again as soon as I finished it the first time, but I won’t lie, I really enjoyed this, heaps. I might even buy it. I don’t know how Gaspar Noé created some of the sequences in this movie, it must’ve been really tough to get them exactly right, but I’ve never seen a man who can simultaneously make sex look ugly and mechanical as well as strangely erotic and wild… at the same time! Look out for The Butterfly Effect twist in the ending. That knocked my holeproofs off. 8/10.

Alright. So those are the opinions of me and my friends. Now, what’re yours? If you’ve seen this gloriously strange and wacky movie, leave a comment with your own short review, and of the above five, whose review do you think is closest to your own opinion? Humor us.

Thanks for reading.


About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on June 26, 2011, in Movie Reviews, Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I too have got to say that the credits are the ‘awesomest’ I’ve ever seen. The movie was a bit too slow-paced for my taste, but I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed the originality of Noe’s film. I agree with Ashley and give it a 7 out of 10.

  2. I can see both sides of this. I liked the first person p.o.v. and the gratuitous high angle/overhead shots, and generally thought the movie was amazing. But my only knock on it was that it was about 15 minutes or so too long. The trippy effects and the constant first person p.o.v. starts making you nauseous around the 2 hour mark. The film’s length is really the only gripe I had with an otherwise awesome film.

    I recently watched a Belgian/French language horror- Calvaire- that employed much of the same cinematography style. Sure enough, even though Noé didn’t direct, Calvaire had the same cinematographer as both Enter the Void and Irreversible.

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