Critiquing Film, Television, and More

Climax (2018): Gaspar Noé’s Masterful Showcase of One Seriously Hellish Night

Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souhelia Yacoub and Kiddy Smile in “Climax”

Climax is Gaspar Noé’s enclasp into the A24 scene where he flaunts his controversial talents to a new set of eyes and ears, as well as his faithful devotees, through an electrifyingly lively, grief-inducing thriller. In order to take a glance into just how outlandish this movie’s act-structure is compared to those of the customary archetype, I’d have to mention that this is a film that doesn’t even begin its title sequence until the dead middle where thereon out after its well-jotted, improvised, peculiarly hysterical and authoritatively choreographed introduction evaporates, a supposed 45-minute one-take of violent, helpless, savagery commences. Noé has once again advanced his camera routines to mimic all of the victims’ precise gesticulations as the catastrophic condition initiates. This is surely an experience that will evoke horror and dread amongst its sorry viewers.

Climax captures the hardcore drug scene perfectly. The ultra-fine human gestures, reactions, and activities are correctly accurate to the trademarks of LSD’s mighty influence. Don’t ask me how I know, just go with it.

Believe it or not, this is most likely Noé’s most applicable film for those who are curious to budge into his filmography. It’s short, uncomplicated within its tale, and straight to the point but nonetheless, crazy and unhinged when it comes to its execution.

And can we just give a huge round of applause to all the dance performers who participated in the making of Climax. The dance performances are truthfully off the charts in this picture. It’s on par with Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake, if not, better. Oh yeah, and Sofia Boutella deserves some sort of grade-A award for her bodaciously crushing staging as the character Selva. The dramatic acting and physical fluctuations showcased by the actors and actresses, like I said before, are intoxicating. Some of the finest lunatic acting I’ve ever witnessed on camera.

Additionally, I can’t go without talking about the soundtrack. I wholeheartedly L-O-V-E-D it. You can’t go wrong with a mixtape that features the sounds of Cerrone, Softcell, and DAFT PUNK. The music sincerely elevates this movie’s effect to gracious new heights. It’s essentially a house music orgasm mixed with some 70s and 80s pop hits.

This is Gaspar Noé’s successful attempt at touching into the (kinda, sorta, maybe, I guess) mainstream while still preserving his idiosyncratic specialty. Even though it isn’t weighty nor cogent when it comes to its subject matter unlike his previous analytical films, it’s all that it needs to be: A nail-biting illustration of the human mind losing control and letting loose to the facets of hefty delusion. Anddd it’s arguably the best film of 2019 so farwell, technically 2018 for you UK folks but for me, I’m counting it as a 2019 film. Similar to the affair I had with Noé’s other movie Irreversible, the more I think about Climax, the more I love it. I simply don’t think I’ve ever wanted to rewatch a movie as soon as possible on the big screen more than this alarming wonder. Indeed, that’d be the case.

Verdict: A-

This movie encouraged me to pop-in and listen to my old Daft Punk Homework CD on my drive back home. FYI, it’s still dance music perfection.

The opening shot in Climax is Noè’s best opening shot yet. Just sayin’.

“Climax” is now playing in select theaters.

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