Looking at my utter lack of connection from Enter The Void I almost can’t help but be impressed by just how utterly and completely the film failed to reach me in any way. I stand off to the side, hand poised thoughtfully on my chin, cock my head to one side and realize “Gee I really got nothing from that at all. Absolutely nothing.” Enter The Void fails as an intellectual experience, an artistic one, a spiritual one, hell it even fails as a sensual one. It ultimately fails at the modest charge of being a good head movie. It is a rare movie where one cannot even appreciate its ambition.
The film follows a lowlife drug dealer whose shot to death in a Tokyo Bathroom flashes back through his life and then follows the aftermath of his death. All the while lingering on the deeply creepy semi incestuous bond he has with his sister. This I was more or less prepared for, as I was prepared and excited for Noe’s ambitious idea of portraying death in the first person and his reputation as an assaultive provocateur. All fine qualities in and of themselves.
What I was unprepared for is just how punishingly repetitive and unimaginative Noe’s imagery would be. The movie runs two hours and forty minutes and you will feel every blessed one of them. Over that long course you’ll get to see each of Noe’s dull imagery several times over. I understand that Noe is attempting to portray the mind in shutdown mode, running over the same repetitive sights, sounds and concepts. If this was the case could he at least choose more interesting and original sight’s sounds and concepts then Bright flashing lights, neon, and car crashes?
Oh I forgot there is extensive imagery of an aborted fetus. Which I’m beginning to think might supplant prayer as the last refuge of a scoundrel. Look can we all agree, that images of aborted fetus should strictly be the province of bad heavy metal bands, radical pro lifers, performance artists, and other sad people desperately seeking attention? (Which come to think of it, fits as a description of Noe so gee I guess carry on.)
So yeah, my Irish is up a little more then it usually is on this blog. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s wasted potential. The opportunity for pure artistic expression comes along so seldom that it’s a shame to watch it squandered. I can only imagine what someone like Herzog or Jodorowsky would have done with this concept and budget.
Enter The Void is loud, garish, ugly and staggeringly empty. If your idea of visionary filmmaking is someone flashing brightly colored lights at you, then count yourself in for a treat; you are about to experience some visionary filmmaking. The rest of us will get a repetitive shuffling of unpleasant individuals doing unpleasant things, intercut with lots of neon and occasionally a towering penis shoved in our faces (Thank God it wasn’t shot in 3D). I don’t care how amazing of a technical experience this is. Not only does the emperor have no clothes. He’s teabagging your wife.