Who's In It: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta
The Basics: Young American drug addict/dealer Oscar and his stripper sister Linda live in Tokyo. When Oscar is shot and killed in a nightclub toilet, his ghost/spirit/whatever leaves his body and begins hovering over the city, observing Linda, peeping on the city's "love hotels" and other junkies, visiting his painful family past, tripping on blurry, blooming flowers and other druggy visions and ultimately re-experiencing his own death. This is what happens when you get murdered before you're finished reading your friend's copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and your consciousness stops functioning properly just at the moment when you've decided that the whole thing is about how death is simply the ultimate acid trip.
What's The Deal: French director Gaspar Noe is the kind of guy who seems to believe that just because you're a nihilist doesn't mean you should give up the pursuit of a demented kind of ecstasy. So he packs his movie from start to finish with a nonstop stream of visual assaults on your senses, some of them so overwhelming, strobe-like and equilibrium-testing they should come with motion sickness and seizure warnings. Stretches of its two hour and twenty-minute running time are peaceful and dreamy, but you can't trust that to go on for long or you'll wind up jumping out of your seat every time he loudly repeats scenes of a catastrophic tragedy that befalls the siblings, as well as omniscient views of rape and abortion. So enjoy those mystical flower moments while you can because the rest of it is seriously damaged. This is what it feels like when a movie kicks you in the face.
The Moral: There isn't one. It's a hopeful sort of meaninglessness, since the ending involves a bizarre sort of rebirth (that is, unless the whole film is the final couple hours of Oscar's consciousness flickering and grinding to a halt and everything we see is a cruel dream) but mostly it feels like this is Gaspar Noe's next chapter in his thesis on the horrible qualities of human beings, one where he can't bring himself to give anyone a break.
Who'll Hate It: People who want plots to move in one forward direction instead of meandering like smoke from a crack pipe. People who want plots at all. People who don't appreciate the idea of a ghost invading its own sister's uterus. For the rest of you it's going to feel like the wrongest, least happy remake of Fantasia you've ever seen.
See Also: Noe's other films Irreversible and I Stand Alone. This one is less brutal than those, but not by much.