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Climax DVD Review

Climax

If you like the work of Gaspar Noé, “Climax” is for you.

“Climax” revolves around a French dance troupe comprised of dancers Lou, Ivana, Eva, Rocket, Riley, David, Shirley, Omar, Psyche, Jennifer, Alaia, Dom, Cyborg, Rocco, Kyrra, Bart, Gazelle, Taylor, Sila, and Serpent, the manager Emmanuelle and her son Tito, the DJ Daddy, and choreographer Selva. Together, this crew is having a rehearsal/party that starts well, but goes horribly wrong when they drink sangria that has been spiked with LSD. From there on out, the lives of this troupe spiral out of control in an animalistic, drug, violence, and paranoia filled nightmare.

If you’ve ever seen the work of director Gaspar Noé before, you should know by now that he’s a boundary pushing and controversial art house director whose work is decidedly not mainstream. “Climax” is no exception. This film is less a narrative feature and more of a cinematic experience about fears, desires, human fragility, and losing control. Structurally, it’s very much a “from heaven to hell” story with things starting off with energetic dance scenes and troupe members talking about sex, each other, feelings, and personal drama. Once they begin to consume the spiked punch, all hell breaks loose as the location becomes filled with screaming, violence, confusion, and utter terror. To say it’s an unsettling viewing experience is an understatement, but it’s certainly an original piece to be sure.

Writer/director Gaspar Noé’s keen eye for visuals is once again on display here with a plethora of tracking shots, long shots, as well as his love of upside shots. He really gives viewers the sensation of being there right in the thick of the madness. Script wise, it would have been nice to get a little more characterization from everyone (the cast is pretty sizable), but it is impressive at how much is accomplished in the 97 minute runtime. The one stand-out from the cast is definitely rising star Sofia Boutella (Selva) whose character has the most screentime and depth.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1. How does it look? The cinematography shines even in standard definition here.

Audio Track: French/English Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? From the thumping music to the dialogue, this is a lively track to be sure.

The lone extra is a 9 minute featurette titled “A Visceral Experience: Making Climax” which contains film clips, an interview with Sofia Boutella, discussions about dancing, the story, characters and more.

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May 20, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | , ,

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