Damn, I haven’t watched a movie quite like this in ages. The kind that makes you want to grab some hard drink and a cigar after, and I don’t even smoke.
The movie starts very differently from most movies. A young woman starts walking in the snow, bloody and horrified. She collapses and the credits roll. After that, a bunch of tapes starts rolling where we see a couple of young people that talk about themselves and their love for dance. The tapes are played on a small TV screen which is surrounded by a lot of DVDs of iconic and very influential movies such as Possession (Which I was very happy about), Suspiria, Eraserhead, Taxi driver and much more.
Later, the group unites in an abandoned school and starts rehearsing their dance before starting a huge after party where we learn much more about them as they dance, get drunk and gossip. But unbeknownst to them, the sangria that they have been drinking was spiked with LSD. At first, they do not notice, but as the night goes on they become more and more confused and in a dreamlike state. Once they notice, they become more and more paranoid and things start getting dark.
This movie was filmed in a very fascinating way in only 15 days. Noé had only conceived a basic story and did not give the cast a script and told them only the basic traits of the characters giving them the freedom to do what they want. With everything being shot in chronological order the option of rewriting everything at any moment was open. He even let the cast decide how each of their characters would react once they found out that they have been drugged. Even the dance was choreographed by the cast.
Climax is one of those movies that you hate yourself for loving if that makes any sense. It was a really difficult film with a lot of messed up stuff and some very disturbing scenes that will be stuck in your mind for a long time but yet I couldn’t help but love it. The camera work was absolutely fantastic, the acting was phenomenal, especially Sofia Boutella who I’ve grown fond of since Kingsmen and Star Trek.
This was one of Noé’s most well-received movies. Interestingly enough he seems not to be happy with this and states in an interview that he must rethink his career because he has to be doing something wrong. In some way, he reminds me of Von Trier which I definitely like and interestingly enough: While watching Von Trier’s “The house that Jack built” Noé could not contain himself from laughing (He did like the movie though it was not because he found it laughably bad or something similar). They are both creators that make me want to learn more about them and figure out how they think which I love.
I find it fascinating that he was disappointed (or so he says at least) that the movie was not disliked as much as he thought it would. It’s a movie that was filmed with not a lot of effort compared to some movies yes but it was still made well and it is a bigger risk to make it that way. If his only desire was to shock and get a big response from the audience and be controversial he could have made a completely different movie. Not that it did not have enough material to do that…
The only issue that I did have with the film was that the first half seemed to be a bit longer than it should have been and the movie almost feels like it was two different films, however, that is needed to give us a clearer picture and to connect with the characters more. Some of the dialogue that the characters had was absolutely hilarious and a joy to watch.
Final verdict: 9/10