Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Trippy Astral POV in Tokyo, or Thoughts on Enter The Void

A movie version of The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up (1997) video with CGI astral projection, Enter The Void (2009) is a surreal and hallucinatory experience, visionary in a sordid, depressing manner, and I’ve seen movies about sewing people into one long intestinal tract.  From French director Gaspar Noé of Irréversible (2002), the movie opens with some seizure-inducing opening credits along with a matching trippy electro-pop soundtrack to effectively set the mood and tone of the next 161 minutes.
Enter The Void follows the life and death of Oscar, an ex-pat DMT dealer in Japan, and his sister Linda, played with her usual leggy salubriousness by Paz de La Huerta.  After some quick exposition concerning the Tibetan Book of the Dead (which Oscar hasn’t read) he dies in The Void, a seedy Tokyo dive bar.  But Oscar lingers, along with the audience, in the form of the innovative POV filming style that includes blinks, narrative voiceovers and psychedelic CGI drug trips.
 A hallucinatory and hypnotic ghost tour of the Tokyo underworld, the movie is heavy on visuals while suffering from a lack of character, both in the cinematic and moral sense.  This ain’t POV Drugstore Cowboy (1989) or POV Trainspotting (1996), and the leisurely mise en scène doesn’t generate any goodwill or caring for the characters.  Audiences need someone to love or hate, and all I got from Enter the Void is a feeling of indifference, and a slight headache.

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