If you thought watching Monica Bellucci get sodomized at knifepoint on the floor of a Paris subway for nine minutes in Irreversible was difficult… as Bachman Turner Overdrive once sang “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Enter the Void is the least enjoyable film, I’ve ever seen. And yet there was something captivating in the way this, utterly punishing-to-watch, story was told. Sure, at times it was painstakingly boring (if I had to get up to use the W.C., I would’ve never returned), but something kept me glued to my seat for 130-something minutes. I’m not positive what it was, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it wasn’t so much wondering what was going to happen next because it started at the end (same as Irreversible), but how Noe was going to show it. The car crashes made me cringe every time and the Freudian references (practically Oedipal punches to the face) were captivating enough to keep all eleven of the men in the 1:30 p.m. on a Friday showing in our seats until the end.
There were gut-wrenching moments that made me feel violently ill. At times it was unwatchable. The cinema nausea was heavy. Although, my ailing may have been due to the copious amount of Cazadores Reposado and P.B.R. in my system from the night before. We’ll never know because I’m never watching this film again.
The movie was way too long. The acting wasn’t fantastic (read: Nathaniel Brown should probably find an alternative career—something that doesn’t require much effort like a toll booth operator), although Cyril Roy and Paz De La Huerta (Peace from the garden? Really that’s almost as bad as Placido Domingo) were impressive. Especially Roy, although it might just be that his character was the best written.
But I have to reiterate, I was invested in the story. Despite how boring watching Nathaniel Brown on D.M.T. is, I stuck it out. I felt sympathy for some characters and hated others. I cared about De La Huerta’s character enough that by the end, I was rooting for an ending I knew was not coming. Noe tested my patience and my equilibrium, but he also did many things right. For different reasons, I’ll never watch any of his films again, but I’ll probably pay to see his next one.
SPOILER ALERT: During the course of the film Enter the Void, Noe’s camera Enters the Vagina. I’m talking seventh grade sex ed class, enters. Organs are beating in there. I think I saw Paz De La Huerta’s gall bladder. Seriously.
-The Neapolitan Mastiff