I still have the Satie music from this film in my head. This is a French film by Argentinian director Gaspar Noé and it was only on the way home that I realised Love really reminded me of Irreversible. A quick IMDb search and it turns out that was a Noé film too. If anyone reading this has seen Irreversible, you’ll know that Noé is a director who is fearless in his approach. The mood of this film was similar and the technique of beginning at the end, but where Irreversible was a harrowing look at the things we can’t change, Love approaches a similar theme in quite a different way.
There were warnings with this film that there would be graphic non-simulated sex scenes. And it was in 3D. As you can imagine, the cinema was full with a buzz of excitement as everyone prepared to be shocked or titillated or both. We were thrown right into it, with the first scene an upclose sustained shot of two people having sex. It’s interesting how quickly I became used to it and the way the sex scenes were portrayed was beautiful, a definite highlight of the film. There was a technique where the shot would cut for a second, the screen going dark, sometimes resuming the same shot just a little differently, sometimes a new scene. This worked well, I thought, giving a sense of time passing, allowing changes without jump cuts, allowing us to drift in and out of very intimate scenes.
There was a plot. Murphy, an American in Paris, has a girlfriend and young child but we soon learn from his monologue that he is unhappy. He still loves his last girlfriend, Electra, who has gone missing. Over the next hour or so, we travel back through time and see his relationship with Electra and how he ended up with someone else. This really is an intimate examination of love and relationships through the eyes of Murphy and, like Irreversible, he wants to change what has already passed. For all its good points, Love is way too long and I lost patience with Murphy well before the end. The character of Electra is astounding though, I wished the film had been about her.
The 3D was put to good use a few times, as you can maybe imagine. Smoke rings blowing upwards, fingers pointing and a money shot right in your face.