Gaspar Noe’s ENTER THE VOID
One of the most aesthetically captivating films to be released in the last few years is Gaspar Noe’s 2009 psychedelic melodrama, Enter The Void. From the start of the film which bombards you with a highly intense opening credits sequence you are plunged into an existential adventure the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) and Linda (Paz de la Huerta) are siblings whose parents died in a car crash when they were very young. They are now adults and both living together in Tokyo. To support themselves, Oscar sells drugs while Linda works as a stripper. Noe immediately brings you into the life of Oscar by shooting it in a first person point of view which makes us feel like we’re seeing things through his eyes. When his friend Victor calls him looking to score some drugs, Oscar and his mentor Alex (Cyril Roy) walk to The Void, a small club where they’ve planned to drop off the dope. Moments after Oscar arrives, police storm into the club, Oscar quickly locks himself in a small bathroom rushing to try to get rid of the stash. After a brief panicked exchange with the cops, Oscar is suddenly shot from outside and he collapses and slowly dies. We then follow his soul as it leaves his body and we go on a truly mind-bending post-mortem journey through the course of his life. We get to see what happened to him and his sister, the trauma they suffered at a young age (heartbreaking imagery) and other scenes. Oscar’s soul continues to float in and around his sister and friends’ world as his spirit watches from above, witnessing the after effect his death had on his circle of friends. He also ventures into various strangers’ minds seeing the world through their eyes.
To be straight forward, this film really blew me away because I didn’t expect such an affecting emotional roller-coaster. I actually found all my senses heightened not only from the incredible psychedelic visual effects but from the exhilarating wave of voyeurism which shows us Oscar and the lives of his friends at their most desperate, vulnerable, frightened, sad, sexually aroused, enraged. The film’s use of vivid colors is especially beautiful to view, most prominently featured is the city of Tokyo at night which looks like a huge neon carnival. Enter the Void is a truly transcendental trip from life into death and beyond. Buy the ticket, take the ride!