Gaspar Noé… you either love him or hate him, he is undeniably audacious in this world of playing it safe. His latest “opus” Love is in 3D and it’s extremely explicit and pushes the boundaries of what you show sexually on-screen. Vincent Maraval produced it who also produced the vastly overrated Blue Is the Warmest Colour and Love suffers from similar problems like that film but is an infinitely better film and vastly more entertaining.
The gist of the film is Murphy (Karl Glusman) is an American who is studying film in Paris. He has a French girlfriend Electra (Aomi Muyock) and they decide to have a Ménage à trois with their young neighbour Omi played by Klara Kristin. Naturally it gets messy as these things often do and Omi gets pregnant and his relationship with Electra finishes and her mother calls and is worried about her. The rest of the film Murphy recalls his past with Electra and why it went wrong which includes drugs and sex clubs, how he stills loves her and his relationship Omi who is now living with Murphy and their son who is named Gaspar… yes Gaspar I’m not joking.
Noé is a director like many of the most interesting directors like Fellini, Jodorowsky or even my precious Terry Gilliam who indulge in what they want to see on-screen. Noé wanted to make “love story seen from a sexual point of view.” and succeeds in that regard. The film’s biggest issue is the film is underdeveloped andNoé stated at the Cannes press conference the script was only 7 pages long and it shows, a lot of the film was improved which can work and to some extent here it does. The performances are the usual mumble-core you got in Enter The Void (Noé’s masterpiece) but they are fearless performances.
Noé references his own work and self throughout, the Love Hotel in Enter The Void is in Murphy’s room, Noé himself appears as Electra’s ex-boyfriend who runs an art gallery and Murphy and Omi’s son is called Gaspar and Murphy is certainly a fantasy version of Noé. It all has the feel of shameless egotism but I kind of like the fact he doesn’t pull back. The 3D is where he certainly doesn’t pull back, there is a scene where an erect penis ejaculates into the audience and for pure comedy value it’s worth seeing the film in 3D in the cinema. It feels like Noe simply did it in 3D so he could do those kind of sight gags and it’s adds to what is a relatively funny and passionate film.
Love might not be the bonafide masterpiece Noé thinks it is, it’s too long and could easily lose a good 30 minutes, the performances are fearless but lack emotional punch, it’s pretentious but I rather see something that push buttons than the safe PC cinema that gets released every Friday. It’s for sure a male fantasy, a key line is when he asks Electra “What’s your deepest fantasy?” and both say to be with another girl in a threesome. It doesn’t have the visionary psychedelic headtrip of Enter The Void or the visceral and disturbing energy of the rape scene or the scene in the gay nightclub in Irreversible but it’s worth seeing a film by a director who has the balls to make these kind of films even if you might only want to visit the world of Gaspar Noé every once in a while.