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Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD

Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD

Frankreich 2002 - with Monica Belucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating - Movie:

Movie info

Original title:Irreversible
Direction:Gaspar Noé
Sales launch:10.12.2020
Production country:Frankreich 2002
Running time:Approx. 93 min. (theatrical version) / approx. 86 min. (straight cut)
Rated:Age 18+
Number of discs:2
Languages:German, French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles:Deutsch, Französisch
Picture format:16:9 (2,35:1)
Bonus:Audio commentaries, featurettes
Region code:2
Amazon Link : Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD

Movie: It has been almost 18 years since I saw "Irreversible". At the time, I was certain that I would definitely not see the film again. Not because I thought it was bad, but because I found it extremely unpleasant and harrowing. Then, after nearly two decades, on the occasion of the release of the new Straight Cut, I did watch it again - and in both cut versions, no less. One thing I can say right away: the film has lost nothing of its impact in the original cut.

Director Gaspar Noé tells in "Irreversible" the relentless story of a rape and the subsequent revenge against the (alleged) rapist. The story is told in reverse order, so that the film begins with the credits. Through this stylistic device, Noé achieves a tremendous impact that makes the film appear in a completely different light than it would if it were told in a traditional narrative form. The murder of the man Marcus (Vincent Cassel) believes to be the rapist of his wife Alex (Monica Belucci) and the rape itself are shown with such ruthlessness and brutality that it makes the film a real test of endurance. But much more cruel than this depiction of violence is the portrayal of the happy togetherness of a couple, who are shortly robbed by the rape and the subsequent revenge of any possibility to ever again experience such precious moments of happiness together. However, since the viewer doesn't see all of this until the end and therefore already knows full well that this happiness will shortly be destroyed, these quiet scenes are the true torture.

"Irreversible" is an unpleasant film from end to end, never allowing a second to relax. But it is precisely because of this that it has its enormous impact, which manifests itself in enthusiasm and thoughtfulness or dismay for some, and total rejection and anger for others. This is exactly what Gaspar Noé wanted to achieve with his film and the reactions it has provoked just in the context of its release in 2002 are proof that the film really leaves no one cold. Whether it needed such drastic depiction of violence to do so is certainly debatable.

Totally: "Irreversible" is an intense film and you really have to take your hat off to the acting performances of Monica Belucci and Vincent Cassel. But as a viewer, you should be very aware of whether you really want to put yourself through this ordeal before you decide to see the film, or not. Because "Irreversible" will be hard to forget, no matter if you think the movie is art or trash. The images, the fast cuts, the unpleasant, dirty atmosphere and the helplessness burns itself into your brain and doesn't disappear so fast. So whether you really want to expose yourself to it, you should think twice before.

In addition to the original version, the re-release for home cinema also contains the straight cut, which tells the story in the correct order. This begs the question: is such an impact achieved even in this form? The answer is. No! However, with the straightforward narration, the film has an impact all its own, which is also intense. However, the whole prequel seems a bit tough - which is not the case in the original cut version. Since as a viewer there you already know what terrible fate awaits the couple, it hangs over the rest of the film like a dark shadow. Told in the right order, the couple's happiness isn't destroyed until the final third, which then just affects the events that follow, but not the back story. The straight cut is an interesting experiment, but ultimately it is unnecessary, since "Irreversible" can fully play out its special intensity precisely through the backwards narrative.

Picture + Sound: Picture and sound quality of the reissue are better than on the initial release. However, glossy visuals should not be expected. This is because Noé has deliberately chosen a grainy, often washed out look with no depth of field. This particular look is a part of the film and adds enormously to the sweeping, oppressive atmosphere. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound makes for a literally unpleasant soundscape, especially at the beginning (or in the case of the straight cut at the end). In the quieter moments, the dialogue, which is mixed well for intelligibility, dominates the action. All in all, the film is technically aptly realized. Good!

Extras: The DVD with the original theatrical version includes a short documentary about the special effects (approx. 7:10 min.) as well as two audio commentaries. The first commentary is by director Gaspar Noé, the second, really interesting commentary by German film scholar Prof. Dr. Marcus Stiglegger. For Noé fans and film buffs, both commentaries are well worth listening to. In addition to the straight cut, the second DVD also offers the approximately 41-minute featurette "The Reversible Journey". Here, the director, cast and others involved give their retrospective views on the making of the film and the reactions it provoked. An extremely interesting documentary and well worth watching!

Conclusion: "Irreversible" is still an extremely powerful, yet uncomfortably difficult film to watch nearly two decades after its initial release. The reissue offers the original cut as well as the new straight cut, which is interesting but nowhere near as intense or involving as the original. Bonus features include commentaries worth listening to and an interesting making of documentary. For those who want to get involved with the film, this re-release can be absolutely recommended.

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD
  • Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD
  • Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD
  • Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD
  • Irreversible - Straight Cut - DVD