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The Vault: Irreversible (2002)

"Time destroys all things," and in the case of Monica Bellucci's character Alex in Irreversible there could be no other truth. Probably the most harrowing portrayal of how beauty is destroyed by human depravity.

Gaspar Noe uses some of the most innovative camera techniques to mirror the frenzied state of Alex's boyfriend Marcus (Vincent Cassel) and her former lover Pierre (Albert Dupontel) as they attempt to find the man who raped and beat Alex into a coma. Once finding out La Tenia, the man who raped Alex, is a frequent customer at the local gay bar, not far from the crime scene, things spiral out of control.

Despite Pierre's constant pleas to just let the police handle the matter Marcus barges into the club demanding to know where La Tenia is. After harassing several clubmembers he finally fingers who he thinks is La Tenia and proceeds to smash a bottle against his head. The man is tougher than Marcus though and breaks his arm, once pinned on the ground while trying to rape Marcus, Pierre the moral compass of the film takes a fire extinguisher and beats the man's face until it literally caves in. The police are called and Pierre and Marcus are arrested.

The film is told entirely in reverse and makes the whole ordeal much darker knowing what has happened to Alex. From Marcus and Pierre leaving the party searching for Alex to finding her, stealing a cab driver's taxi to find the club, the party itself where Marcus's partying causes Alex to leave, riding the subway discussing the difference between sex between Pierre and her current love, Alex and Marcus in bed getting ready to go to the party.

The film makes several references to what is about to happen to the couple as Alex notices that he can't feel his arm in bed and Alex reveals her dream about a red tunnel(the very tunnel where the rape takes place). The real gut-punch of the film is watching Alex find out she is pregnant knowing that she will inevitably lose the child.

Those with a queasy stomach regarding violence and rape should probably fast forward through the scenes because they really are quite brutal. Never in a film before has such thought-out real-life ramifications of vigilantism, violence and murder been explored.

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