Direction: Gaspar Noé
Provocative French-Argentine helmer Gaspar Noé continues to show an alarming inability to write interesting or intelligent stories. Like in other previous polemic moves such as Irreversible (2002) and Love (2015), the only goal in Climax is to unconditionally shock, no matter how. Hence, this time he gathered a group of professional dancers, coming from different backgrounds, to rehearse in an abandoned school and embark on a party turned into unplanned LSD trip that quickly falls out of control. Be aware that this diabolical nightmare can upset sensitive stomachs and induce severe aches in weak heads. It’s all very artsy, though.
The necessity to call attention to himself starts right away when the final credits are exhibited at the beginning of the film, a prank that complies with the unnatural developments that come next. Human decadence and degradation are portrayed with the assistance of a palette drenched in super saturated colors, potentiating the hallucinatory vibes induced by images and music. Up in the first place, the protracted dancing scenes are just there to distract us. They are time-consuming, giving us some time to prepare ourselves for the repulsive avalanche of happenings that serve Noé’s darkest pleasures.
The plot is shallow, assembled with no curves ahead. It’s an abhorrent cocktail of cruelty, violence, paranoia, sadism, unbridled libido, racism, abortion, sexism, suicide, hysteria, and incest. There is a vague allusion to a flag connected to a sect and regular black screens with pseudo-illuminating thoughts like: ‘life is a collective impossibility’ or ‘death is an extraordinary experience’. Genius!
The positive aspects of the film are limited to the eclectic soundtrack and the intrepid camerawork, suffused with oblique and high-angle shots as well as spinning movements meant to daze and confuse.
Insidiously vicious, Climax requires patience, a resistant stomach, an all-embracing sense of humor to deal with the nonsense, and lots of tolerance toward its intellectual emptiness.