The film is as disturbing as one of its subject matter ought to be, which is precisely what makes it so impactful. Debie's camera spirals and shakes throughout, eliciting palpable qualities of chaos, grief, and adrenaline. However, arguably the most frantic moment (and I say "arguably" because parts of the revenge sequence make "Scarface" look like "High School Musical") is the rape itself, the film's one still-shot.
While absolutely not for the squeamish, Irreversible evokes just the right harmonies of tone and perspective to make a truly righteous statement. In an age when violence against women is trivialized -- mocked, even -- in pop-culture and politics, someone needed to portray the calamity of rape and murder accurately: the horrors of torture and violation, the vast ramifications blasted into the scheme of cause and effect to perpetuate its sting in unknowable ways, and the tragedy inherent in robbed potential. Gaspar Noe had the balls -- and talent -- to do it.