From the opening credits this was a hard movie to watch. Anything having to do with rape is usually difficult but this movie was more violent than most I have seen.

Vincent Cassel plays Marcus the boyfriend of Monica Belluci (Alex) who, along with Alex’s ex-boyfriend Pierre (Albert Dupontel), seeks revenge after her brutal rape. The first major scene is of Marcus being taken out of a club on a stretcher. The movie starts at the end and goes back. I felt a bit confused the first twenty minutes. It’s dark and the director is taking a lot of liberties with the camera, so much so that I found myself tilting my head to try to get a better picture.

Marcus and Pierre are looking for la Tenia, who is in a gay sex club called the Rectum. There is a lot of full frontal male nudity, which does not bother me, but the sexual scenes did make me a bit queasy as they were violent and sadistic.

The movie then goes back to when Marcus and Pierre meet the two men who tell them they can help them find the man who raped their girlfriend. Then it pans to them at a party and Alex leaving to go home.  She is raped in a tunnel underpass in the most drawn out and violent scene in the entire movie. I watched two minutes of the rape scene and had to fast forward the rest. It was heartwrentching. The act was horrible but the things he said to her, his voice, and  his anger cut through to my soul. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

The movie lightens up tremendously as the final scenes are of a beautiful and happy Alex and Marcus in bed together. She mentions a dream she had as she lays naked on his body about being in a red tunnel and it splitting in two. She tells him it is probably reflective of her period which is late. He asks how late and she says only a couple of days. The next scene is of her taking a pregnancy test. She looks at the results and touches her belly with a smile. I feel sick knowing that the character is now in the hospital fighting for her life after her brutal attack.

Despite the violence and the crazy camera this was a good film. Would I recommend it? No, I don’t think I can, even if I think the director did a good job. I can’t even say I’m glad I watched it. I think the director was brilliant with starting the movie in the end and leaving the beginning as the actual end. The last scene is of her peacefully reading a book on the greenest of grass, in the prettiest park. I needed the sunny ‘beginining’ to be the last scene rather than the scene of Cassel in the dark, scary Rectum.


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