Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

"None of the characters seem grounded in any kind of reality."

If you could take away the sex which is around 60 percent of Gaspar Noé’s latest shocker, you would be left with a rather stilted love story around an amour fou between Murphy (Karl Glusman), a young American film student in Paris, and the two women in his life Electra and Omi.

It’s Noé’s first film in English which may explain the trite dialogue rasped out rather breathlessly by the protagonists, possibly because they are saving their energies for the sexual marathon.

The film cuts back and forth between the beginning and the end of the unravelling relationships with a voiceover by the American moodily reflecting on his fate and the women involved, one of whom, Electra (Aomi Muyock), goes missing.

The other, Omi (Klara Kristin), a neighbour who at one point is invited over for a threesome (the film’s most genuinely erotically charged moment), has his baby and ensnares Murphy into a life of boring domesticity.

None of the characters seem grounded in any kind of reality. Murphy spouts great thoughts but, apart from his bedroom action, lacks any motivation. Nobody is seen rushing off to work and Murphy shows little inclination to pursue his film-making craft.

Noé’s trademark flashes of style are here in abundance while the physical scenes are well photographed in light and shade. Apart from one 3D ejaculation it is mostly tastefully done although perhaps not for those of a sensitive disposition. Compared to the relentless power of Irreversible, this one lacks emotional force.

Fundamentally this is a love story where the sex speaks louder than words - the only difference being in the attention to graphic detail.

Reviewed on: 21 May 2015
Share this with others on...
A sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl; a love story which celebrates sex in a joyous way.
Amazon link

Director: Gaspar Noé

Writer: Gaspar Noé

Starring: Karl Glusman, Aomi Muyock, Klara Kristin

Year: 2015

Runtime: 135 minutes

Country: France

Search database:

If you like this, try:

9 Songs