Movie Review - Climax (2019)
How Noé chooses to shoot and edit this film is akin to Alejandro Iñarritu's Birdman (2014) or Sebastian Schipper's Victoria (2015). It's done with a series of long, continuous takes. It's not trying to seem like one, long take as Birdman and Victoria try to seem. Noé has stitched together four, long takes that are obviously distinguished. The stitching of those, long takes are done with moments of dialogue that suggest a plot and some character, but nothing as intricate, detailed or nuanced as either Birdman or Victoria. Noé seems to want an experiential film, as he's done with his previous works, but with glances or brief injections of character. The choreography and the improvisation, at times, of the dancers are what's most on display. Those glances or brief injections aren't enough to make this a satisfying film, but it's enough to keep anyone watching on the edge of their seat.
Because this film is juggling a dozen or more dancers, it's difficult to get to know them in the structure that Noé has chosen here. Beyond Selva, we get glimpses of that dozen through the pairs that Noé cuts between during a rather breathless montage. Not much is learned about them, except their sexualities. Their brief conversations and moments together are all about sex and having it in various ways or combinations. The later action will involve sex and particularly violence related to sex.
While the ending is a total mess that had potential, especially when it comes to queer sexuality and even incestuous relations, it still doesn't take away from the very compelling first half of this film. The dancing and dancers therein are pretty incredible to watch. The choreography is better than anything seen on the big screen thus far, including everything in Rocketman.
Rated R for disturbing content, drug use, violence, language and graphic nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 36 mins.
Available on DVD and VOD.