Quick-Thoughts: Gaspar Noé’s Vortex (2021)

The very conclusion to institutional love exhibited in excruciating real-time, but it’s not without a fight. Like God, three individual perspectives linger (sometimes simultaneously) over three individuals of a family trying to hold it together at the end of their rope: a mother with dementia, a father with a secret, and a son with a hitch. Gaspar Noé evidently holds back on how many times he usually has to hit us over the head to get a painful reaction from the crowd, and yet, his new methodology still manages to sting like hell by the end not too far from the degree as say his 2002 masterpiece Irreversible. Thus, Vortex is certainly no light chore to endure especially given its runtime — but don’t worry, it’s all for the better. 

On another worthwhile level, Noé’s latest cinematic ambition is a really telling eye exercise due to it’s split screen gimmick, in that, we as a viewer obviously aren’t prone to watching two events with one eye for each, and rather have to toggle back and forth between them, implying to us what prompts our attention the most. I’m sure this gives the film a unique amount of rewatch value, as there is especially no way to consume what is almost two movie-lengths worth of footage on a single viewing. 

Verdict: B

2022 Ranked, Gaspar Noé Ranked

“Vortex” is now available to stream on MUBI.

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