Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Sofia Boutella

     Please deliver me from such absurdity as this movie.  It starts out not too bad, with dancers responding to interviewers’ questions about their thoughts, feelings, and dreams.  Some come across as very young and inexperienced, but some are thoughtful and humorous in their responses.  Other than their all being young, it’s a diverse group with a wide range of values and points of view, setting the stage for what will come later.
     But first, some 20 or so dancers engage in a spirited dance that shows off their talents and is enjoyable to watch until their moves tend to get repetitive and the scene becomes tiresome.  It is strenuous effort, so afterwards the spent cavorters get to have a party. Refreshments have been set up, and one dancer expresses her pride in offering sangria, implying that it’s a special treat.  She seems not to know—as does no one else, apparently, except for one—that it has been laced with LSD.  
     One of things human beings can do for a power trip is to drug another person without their knowledge or consent.  That is what happens here, and much time is spent in trying to figure out who the culprit is.  Needless to say, accusations fly right and left, some escalating into physical fights.  It's very sad, especially when you remember that some of the dancers  have no experience with drugs.
     Of the many distortions in the plot, one of the most egregious is the mischaracterization of the effects of LSD, which is still being used therapeutically under the proper conditions.  But even under “normal conditions”, the mind-altering experience is usually pleasurable, even though some people can have negative reactions.  The distortion in this movie is that just about everyone has a bad trip—none of Timothy Leary’s “tune in, turn on, and drop out”.  I kept wishing that everyone would just go to bed.  Instead, they keep hanging around one another engaging in gossip and personal fantasies, becoming more and more paranoid.
     Of course, it could be that in writer/director Gaspar Noe’s fantasy everyone got huge doses, and that accounts for bizarre behaviors.  But I seriously doubt that a group of people would go bonkers like these people do; i.e., peeing in the middle of the floor, a character kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach, another pushing a woman into a candle that lights her clothes on fire, etc.  Absolute mayhem ensues.  Much of the time is spent in characters trying to push others away.  
     To make matters worse—and even more uncomfortable for the viewer—a child on the premises, awakens after his mother put him to bed and tries to join the party.  His not-the-best mother locks him in a room to keep him “safe”, whereupon he yells and screams during most of the rest of the evening, adding to the din of the loud ear-grating music.
     This film has no redeeming value in the slightest.

For the sake of all your five senses, avoid Gaspar Noe’s Climax.

Grade:  F                                    By Donna R. Copeland

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