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Home | Film Reviews | Extreme Cinema | Film Review: Enter The Void (2009)

Film Review: Enter The Void (2009)

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Do you ever wonder what exactly does happen to you after you shudder off this mortal coil? You probably aren’t alone; in fact Gaspar Noe has a very beautiful and twisted vision of what happens to one after they die…. allow him to show you.


Year: 2010
Directed by: Gaspar Noe
Starring: Nathaniel Brown, Paz De La Huerta, Cyril Roy

“I’m scared of dying I guess….of falling into the void.”

Enter the Void is a very strange trip indeed and the viewer can go ahead and assume so after a very crazy and techno driven opening sequence. When the credit sequence ends the viewer is treated to a point of view world where they assume the role of Oscar who is talking with his sister Linda. Among the subjects discussed are the skyline of Tokyo where a majority of the film is set and the afterlife, Linda also is very blunt in not liking the company that Oscar is keeping, mainly his junkie friend Alex. Linda soon leaves the small apartment after the conversation (which is all filmed POV style) and Oscar starts his evening.

Oscar is the main focal point of the film and for the first part of the film the viewer sees the world as Oscar sees it which leads to some strange sequences including a scene in which Oscar uses a drug called DMT (all of this is shown via point of view shots so it is as if the viewer themselves are doing the drug and witnessing how the world changes once they are on the substance).  After Oscar is good and high he receives a phone call from his friend Victor who wants to arrange a drug deal. Not even a few minutes after Oscar is off the phone do we get to meet the junkie friend Alex that Linda is not a fan of. Alex and Oscar head off into Tokyo to take care of the drug deal and again all of this is done through Oscar’s point of view. Gaspar Noe takes the viewer through the streets of Tokyo which is surreal in its own right with its bright neon signs as the two make their way to a local watering hole called “The Void”. During their trek to the void the two men discuss Linda, drugs and the fact that Oscar refuses to get a “real” job and is content with being a dealer.

Once the two arrive in at The Void Oscar heads in while Alex remains outside. Oscar goes to approach Victor who immediately starts apologizing when he sees his friend, the reason why is quickly shown as police officers immediately begin to rush Oscar who rushes into the bathroom to quickly start to flush the drugs that he has on him. During this claustrophobic sequence Oscar is shot and dies (again all of this is done POV style!).

What follows is Gaspar Noe’s vision of the afterlife and how once one dies they simply have to watch as their friends and family deal with their loss. The characters in Enter the Void aren’t characters one can easily relate to…already I have mentioned Oscar (a drug dealer), Alex (a junkie) and Victor (a narc). Among the other characters in the film are Linda (Oscar’s sister) who works at a strip club and sleeps with her boss a seedy character named Mario.

Gaspar Noe takes characters that one might view as ugly and actually forces the viewer to care about them using many flashbacks. It is during these flashbacks that Oscar and Linda’s relationship is explained. The two children’s parents were killed in a car crash and once their grandparents were no longer able to care for them they were separated. The two kept in contact and eventually Oscar asks Linda to move to Tokyo so that they can once again be together. In order to finance her move Oscar takes a job as a drug dealer, and because of his past becomes a drug user as well. It is also during these flashbacks that Oscar’s relationship with Alex and Victor is also explained. Victor it seems has a good reason to set up Oscar and eventually the opening half hour starts to make a lot of sense which takes a couple more hours….that’s right this is a long film (almost two and a half hours) but it is well worth the viewing.

Gaspar Noe has an eye for the twisted and bizarre and his vision is exactly that from the neon lit streets of Tokyo to an abortion clinic the viewer is assaulted yet still stunned and put in awe by a lot of what they see. It isn’t just a visual journey as the soundtrack of Enter the Void also is used to confuse and stimulate the viewer. Like an astral body the viewer is moved from place to place as each friend and Linda learns about what happened to Oscar (the viewer?).

Enter the Void is a visually stunning piece of work that might require a couple viewings to actually grasp everything that Gaspar Noe is trying to convey however it is well worth the trip!

Enter The Void (2010)

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