Enter the Void (2009)

Written & Directed by Gaspar Noe

A year ago I submitted to myself to what was called the Mind Blowing marathon. It entailed me watching eight movies in quick succession that would drive me to lose my mind. The line-up was as follows: Mulholland Drive, Brazil, Barton Fink, Audition, Jacob’s Ladder, Requiem for a Dream, Oldboy and Eraserhead. I also just watched Dogtooth the other night. So I am used to crazy, weird, outside the box type movies. My mind is used to it and I can really enjoy, or at least appreciate some of them. So when Enter the Void fell into my lap, I knew I was supposed to not go into it lightly, that it would be weird, bizarre and perhaps a little hard to handle.

The film follows Oscar, an American who has moved to Tokyo. In Tokyo, he lives with his sister Linda, who is a stripper. To make things stranger, Oscar is a drug addict who is dabbling in dealing. His friends, Alex and Victor, are shady characters as well. But that is not the story. No, the story is that Alex gets set up by Victor and shot and killed by the police. From there he enters “the void” and floats around observing the past, present, and future. It is original, I will give Noe that.

The problem I had with the film was the pacing, the editing. For being about what it is, and the style in which it is filmed, the film was amazingly boring. The POV style really got on my nerves after a while and it just drug along for so long. The film runs at nearly two and a half hours and most of that time is spent dragging its feet. It is a lot of mindless dialogue that half the time you can’t hear and following along behind the characters as they walk places. I hated the camera too. The stylized moves from location to location gave me headaches and really took me out of the experience.

Some people may be able to gain some enjoyment from the film, but it was way too haphazard for my tastes. The ending of the film was annoying too. I am not sure if it is possible to spoil it, but it was basically various people having sex for about 30 minutes. It was so annoying I just wanted to punch the movie in the face. I really could have slept through this one and would have had a better time. I know, I just didn’t get it. It happens sometimes. And sometimes, filmmakers make bad movies.

Adam Kuhn

Adam Kuhn was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he attended Saint Charles Preparatory School. He studied History at the University of Cincinnati, where he was a contributor of The News Record, the twice-weekly, independent student news organization. He has been writing film reviews and blogging since 2009.

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