Gaspar Noé’s LOVE | NSFW Review

LOVE is Gaspar Noé’s next in a line of provocative boundary-pushing movies. Please note this review, its trailer and the posters are NSFW (NOT SAFE FOR WORK), or younger people to see. It is basically Noé’s way of making a commercial porn that released in cinemas in shocking penis protruding 3D, in fact, the script was only seven pages long and Noé’s intention was to shoot a movie from sex’s point of view, for this I am certain he has been successful but from every review I have read, there is more depth and better sex in online porn. 

Originally LOVE was to be filmed before IRREVERSIBLE and was starring Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassell but they eventually balked at a threesome with a transexual and the fact their bits would be out to see for everyone forever! So it got shelved. But not one to be put off Noe made his film that Kernel Jordan Dodd now reviews below and again a warning – this article does contain a poster that Noe had made of an ejaculating penis and so on. 

LOVE screened at the French Film Festival last year and is now available online and on DVD and BLU RAY from overseas sellers – see it in 3D if you can, it was the director’s intention. It runs for 135mins and is DEFINITELY in the R RATED category of films, not officially rated in Australia though. Enjoy Jordan’s review……all the best for sexy times……..JK.

 

Gaspar Noe's LOVE Movie Poster image of three mouths kissing

 

BY JORDAN DODD

Master provocateur Gaspar Noé was sure to let the world be aware that he wasn’t intending on holding back with his newest film, with several NSFW posters floating around the internet before the film’s release. I’m not sure if they ever existed as actual posters advertising the film, as they are for the most part extremely graphic: one depicting a gooey fist clenching a rock hard boner. Whatever the case, Noé had people talking about his new effort long before it actually hit theatres.

At the beginning of the film, American filmmaker Murphy is in a relationship and feels trapped. Living with a woman is like living with the CIA, he muses. Nothing is secret. Through internal monologue we learn just how unhappy Murphy is, and after a phone call from his past, we begin to explore a past relationship between Murphy and his French girlfriend, Electra. Noé toys with different time-lines again and does it well.

Electra is willing to explore sexually, which initially leads to the couple having some fun with their new cute neighbour, Omi. It doesn’t stop here however; as the couple explore sexual boundaries and what their love really means, their relationship becomes frail. What began as a way to get closer to one another is in truth driving them apart.

 

The Three NSFW LOVE Movie Posters

 

Murphy remarks at one point that his biggest dream in life is to make a movie that truly depicts sentimental sexuality. However his dream is just that – a fantasy – as within this film we explore all the dark corners of love and what can result from a truly broken heart. Emotions so powerful that events can linger as a permanent and powerful memory, or can cause a person to act completely out of character. The film portrays the complexity and potential dangers of high-powered sexuality and love extremely well, and as a whole this was a love story that I enjoyed.

Unfortunately, there are two major issues that prevent this story from truly resonating.

Perhaps the most important fact is that for a film almost dedicated to full-bore sex scenes, name-actors are out of the question. Realistically, who could Noé have used other than non-professionals? Karl Glusman, playing Murphy, had a small amount of experience, but the girls playing Electra and Omi are both new to acting. This all-round lack of acting experience hurts the story, as the characters either underact or overact, rarely hitting the mark. Adding further to this is the dull and lifeless script. There are a few memorable moments, but these are sandwiched between awkwardly delivered lines that defy the possibilities offered by the overall story. It is disappointing, and some of the dialogue really is cringe-inducing:

“Maybe we are not the great artists that we dreamed of. Maybe this is all just shit” is one example of an extremely underwhelming way to make a decent point verbally. There is also a lot of internal monologue, most of which consists of Murphy complaining about his life.

 

gaspar one's love movie image

 

Despite some experience, Karl Glusman as Murphy is the worst offender, though this is probably because he is on screen for almost the entire film. He tries his best with what he is given, but his character felt as colourful as a black hole. In fact, there isn’t much to distinguish Murphy from Oscar, the main character from Noé’s last film. The two girls also feel very two-dimensional and forgettable, which isn’t surprising given they were working with a rather dismal script and had no prior acting experience.

This lack of powerful acting means that, apart from a couple of key scenes, all the sexual encounters and orgies that we see don’t advance the story in any way and don’t convey the honest emotions they are trying to. They are just there. Yes, Gaspar’s colourful visual style is here to be seen and the encounters aren’t as repetitive as they could have been, but I’m not watching porn, and most of these scenes seem there just to push boundaries. The almost total lack of charisma among the characters doesn’t help any of this. Thank God I didn’t see a 3D session of this film, as it of course has an obligatory vertically shot ejaculation scene, spewing its load all over the screen.

 

gaspar one's love movie image

 

LOVE certainly has Gaspar’s fingerprints all over it, from the blink to black transitions that allow him to toy with the timeline seamlessly to the ‘Love Hotel’ from ENTER THE VOID sitting in Murphy’s apartment. Internal monologue makes another appearance, as underwhelming as it may be, and Noé himself again appears in his own film, here acting as a seedy art gallery owner.

I don’t know what to make of it all if I am honest. Even though it has countless sex scenes and orgies that don’t serve much purpose, the narrative about finding true love and then losing it, exploring the darkest recesses of love and sexuality… it fascinated me. It is great to see a film exploring the concept of love in such a unique and dark way, as opposed to most films allegedly about love.

Unfortunately, its graphic presentation is ruined by some very bland acting, not to mention an uneven script that created wholly forgettable characters. I really enjoyed ENTER THE VOID and IRREVERSIBLE, but this… it somehow feels tame in comparison.

 

2 and a Half Pops

 

 

Jordan Dodd is an aspiring novelist hailing from Adelaide, Australia. His first book is a chronicle of his experiences in a rehab centre that was more of a cult than anything else, and his goal is to finish it and pitch it to someone who matters. It can be found here. He also enjoys writing about film, which is probably his biggest obsession (apart from writing). When not writing for Salty Popcorn Jordan has his own website – he can be contacted via www.epilepticmoondancer.net