Zak’s review published on Letterboxd:
“You’re ignorant! I want to show you the light. This is the reason I want to be a director.”
Yeah, Gaspar... I can tell.
All kidding aside, I think Noé here succeeds at what he wants to do for the most part. This is a romantic drama with all the excitement of a new relationship and the foibles of opening your own heart to hurt when you let someone into it. Interspersing that with raw, explicit sex scenes makes sense. It sounds corny, but there is a truth to what exists here, much more so than 9 Songs or Below Her Mouth, for instance.
But a provocateur gotta provoke. I didn't watch this in 3D, but the childlike glee in which some of the things happen (especially, you know, the scene most built for 3D) seems to undermine something that otherwise I thought had been thoughtful. I was put off by the idea of naming a child of one of the many sexual unions "Gaspar" and an ex-boyfriend "Noé". Is the director saying anything with that or just kinda chuckling at the dumbness of it? See also: making the main character a twerpy film school student who explicitly states that he wants to make the exact movie we're watching one day.
I think you can do this intimate "show everything" approach to a relationship and also make the sex super-porny just because you can, but it's all the other pretentious French stuff he kept doing that kept this from being as good as it should be. This doesn't have as much cringey dialogue and on-the-nose thematic statements as Enter the Void, but somehow it all bothered me just as much here (while not being as deliriously transcendent as that better film).