If Enter the Void doesn’t get a Criterion release, there is something wrong with the world. Enter the Void is brilliant. If you are familiar with this directors body of work then you know about Irreversible. Containing one of the most horrific rape scenes in the history of film, this film is just as tripped out as a Tokyo drug dealer, samples some of his own wares. Throw on top of that a even graphic depictions of abortion and abrasive performances from those involved, and you have one of the most unique films of the year. The nightlife of Tokyo is on display, with glittering everything and very bright flashing colors as we enter Oscar’s mind for a trip after he gets shot.
His sister is a stripper so her life isn’t a beacon of hope for a better life for Oscar, her brother. As the story progresses, he ends up getting killed and the camera follows his spirit out of his body and hovers above the action. It is a surreal experience and one I think everyone should watch. The POV is so spectacularly well delivered and well executed. He spends his time revisiting anguish, particularly his scenes from his childhood. After that the film transforms into more of a psychedelic, visual experience while the story fades away. The acting is quite wooden and doesn’t ring true but that is only a minor quibble when compared to the film’s bloated running time.
The maze-like electricity of downtown Tokyo at night, one must actually sit down and experience it, letting it wash over you, to fully appreciate the work. I just get the feelings this movie would get so censored in America it would be a whole other film when showed over the ocean. There is a great deal of drug use and some explicit sex but the film is compelling. Even though the story itself is kind of second to all the mind blowing visuals, it still anchors the movie to a point, that this is not just one big light show with dazzling visual effects. It is a story about how the War on Drugs ruins lifes for nothing. And it is a story about how dying may be, leaving the body, reflecting all past and entering the circle of life again. As a fan of the director I have admired his ability to shock his audience and to make us think.
The POV-style changes as the film progresses. Like the Story of Jesus, the film enumerates every one of the core sins and portrays the pain and sorrow attached to each one of them. The story does go back and forth in moments of the lead characters lives. But by the end I wasn’t quite sure if it was all just some heavy trip or what was going on was real. In other words, you must be prepared to partake in the experience. Make sure you Enter the Void. The void is full of wonders.