‘Climax’ Review: Noé’s Inferno

A troupe of hip hop dancers lock themselves in a club, accidentally take LSD and go insane.
Gaspar Noé spends a great deal of his latest film introducing characters. He does this through audition tapes, an extended montage of short dialogues, and of course, hypnotic dance sequences. Once the trip begins he sees these characters stripped of inhibitions and exploring their desires openly and often violently. As the delirium continues the motives are abandoned and all becomes chaos.
It’s intoxicating to see pure madness rendered on screen and Climax is a work or pure madness. Noé uses his usual tricks to disoriented the viewer; impossibly long takes, positively nauseating camera movement and a pounding soundtrack. His actors are all perfectly natural in the most unnatural of circumstance. Their panic, lust and anger are completely believable. Sophia Boutella provides a particularly energetic performance, occasionally convulsing and riving like Isabelle Adjani in Posession.
In fact, Noé is quite transparent in his inspirations. Possession can be seen on a DVD shelf at the start of the film along with Suspiria and even Un Chien Andalou. Noé borrows from these cult classics and makes of them something deranged and relentless.
Climax lacks the psychedelics of Noé’s works but is easily his purest concept. Humanity is exposed in this claustrophobic nightmare. It is a fairly cynical film in which people’s selfish intentions are only ever just below the surface. It’s a bad trip. It’s a disorientating visceral brain masher that is singular and will definitely stay with you long after you crawl out of the cinema.
Five Stars

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