Irreversible is a film that displaces the viewer in such a significant way that to watch it is more akin to dreaming about a real-life experience. The film, through dialogue, actions, and character archetypes, suggests that only way to make sense of and live through the horrific and reversed melodramatic anti-revenge storyline is to view the film through a near existential psychological perspective. Yipe. In easier language, the film demands your own removal of pre-conditioned emotional responses to rape, murder, revenge, humor, sexual excitement, intimacy, sadness, rage, and especially blame. The very beginning of the film features the man from the feature I STAND ALONE telling another man how he messed his own life up...that time destroys all things. His companion ultimately nay-says this, indicating that any crimes or tragedies are just what they are, nothing more...a series of events. Noe challenges the viewers to attempt to view Irreversible in that very detached state, not for or against what you see. (nutty camera moves...) By doing so you will be able to live through the incredibly sad and horrific storyline. By Noe telling the story in reverse, he rescues the film from melodrama, vengence, or "true crime" genre BS. Together, almost in a 50/50 contract deal, Noe and the viewer can attain the meaning of this story about Alex, Marcus, Pierre, the Tenia, ramifications and origins of any and all the events you see in Irreversible. The result will vary, I believe, from person to person...as it should. I can only echo other reviews in warning you of the intensity and violence, but the sadness and (yes) beauty of the film's meaning that I derived was phenomenal.