Enter the Void
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When a director sets out to make a movie, he or she generally has some kind of goal in mind. Maybe itís to make the audience laugh; maybe itís to move them to tears. But when director Gaspar Noť set out to make Enter the Void, he seems to have been determined to baffle his audienceóand perhaps make them regret setting foot in the theater.

Enter the Void is shown from the point-of-view of Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a junkie and small-time dealer who lives in Tokyo with his younger sister, Linda (Paz de la Huerta).

In the beginning, itís an intriguing experiment, taking the audience inside Oscarís head. You see what he sees, hear what he hearsóto the point that his own voice sounds muffled and echoic. You even experience his long, psychedelic hallucinations.

But everything changes when Oscar stops by a club called The Void to deliver some drugs to a friend. Once heís inside, the police raid the building. Oscar runs to the bathroom, where heís shot and killed.

From then on, the film follows Oscarís spirit as it soars around the city, spying on his junkie friends and watching Linda at the strip club where she works. It often flashes back on his life, repeatedly reliving the gruesome car crash that took his parentsí lives and replaying the steps that led to his untimely death.

But Enter the Void isnít some kind of tripped-out indie retelling of A Christmas Carol. Itís a strange experimental film thatís overflowing with sex, drugs, and a bunch of other stuff that the average person would rather not witness (much less pay to see). Itís two and a half very long hours of excessively graphic footage thatís guaranteed to turn your stomach (if you manage to keep your eyes open though the entire thing, that is).

Had the story had some sort of point, perhaps the overload of nauseating footage would have been understandable, if not necessary. But although it seems to start out as some kind of experimental murder mysteryóexploring the facts leading up to Oliverís death, as well as the aftermathóit eventually falls apart and becomes little more than a blur of biology. In the end, it seems as though Noťís only goal was simply to shock and appall the audienceóand, as far as Iím concerned, thatís not enough to make a film worthwhile.

Enter the Void isnít as much an artistic indie film as itís a test of viewersí resilience and intestinal fortitude. Granted, it does have some intriguing moments, but even if someone dares you to sit through itóand threatens you with extreme humiliation and/or physical pain if you donítóIíd still advise against it.

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