One doesn’t watch Enter The Void, one experiences Enter The Void. From the incredible camerawork to the special effects or the jarring opening credits, everything melts together into one trippy mold. Casper and his sister Linda are denizens of Tokyo’s seedy underbelly. He’s a drug dealer who wanted enough money to bring her across the ocean, she’s a stripper trying to find an identity for herself. He falls into bad business and gets killed in a disgusting bathroom trying to lose his drugs. That’s only the first half hour.
I kept an open mind throughout this film. I knew it was one of those movies, one you’d have to not be pre-disposed for or be willing to tolerate some of its weirder aspects to comprehend the whole. At a daunting two hour and forty-one minute run time, it can certainly try your patience with repeated use of certain scenes (albeit from slightly different perspectives) to drive home various points. The film opens strong with a half-hour first-person jaunt as our protagonist Oscar. He talks with his sister on a balcony as a plane flies over, starts tripping on a special new drug, then goes on a walk to The Void with his friend where the aforementioned bust goes down. At that point, I would’ve given it a 9.
The film then flashes back to their lives to this point, including the violent death of their parents up to recreating the drug bust from a third-person perspective. From there, the film sails over a sea of drug use and sex (lots of borderline-pornographic sex) as we see how his sister and their friends are handling life after Oscar. This is also the point where the film becomes a repetitive drag. Despite all of the gorgeous scenery, one can only fly over cutaways of Tokyo between story points and characters so many times. But just as I was ready to flip my mouse over the video player to see how much longer was left, it’d hit me with something new. This is a film born for theaters, where it’s only you and the movie blaring on a setup that overwhelms the senses. This isn’t a conventional film by any means, and while the visuals do more to carry the movie than the story does, after nearly three hours, you feel affected by this film, which was probably the whole point in the first place.