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Seul contre tous (1998)
A truly disturbing Masterpiece!
What Gaspar Noé created with "Seul contre tous" is almost impossible to put in words but I'll try it anyways.
(Instead of writing about the already well known Story and the Characters, I want to let you guys know how "I Stand Alone"/"Menschenfeind" made me feel throughout its 89 minute run without putting too many spoilers....if any)
At first I didn't really pay attention to Noé's debut since I wasn't the biggest fan of Irreversibel. Don't get me wrong, I liked how it was filmed and how Noé played with a lot of avantgarde and art elements but in the end I have seen it as nothing more than a In-your-face Artmovie with interesting ideas. After reading multiple reviews about Seul contre tous I finally decided to watch it, but before I wanted to see "Carne" (the short that takes place before Seul contre tous) and I was absolutely surprised on how good it was, how twisted and how incredibly weird on such a "realistic" level it was. It's an understatement to say I was hyped for the highly controversial and kind of infamous Seul contre tous.
But let's talk about my experience with it. Right when I clicked play I figured out that it's going to be bad in the best possible way, the overall tone is dark from the beginning and the way the camera and the sound are used adds a lot to the avantgarde note of Seul contre Tous. The introduction of the main character is how it needs to be, right when we see and hear The Butcher we know that he could be anyone, from your hard working Neighbor to your best friend. Philippe Nahon does an amazing job portraying that totally degenerated guy that seems so normal to his outside world, he's so good that you lose yourself seeing and hearing him, it's a constant conflict between understanding and hating him, between judging him and hoping he'll find his good side (even though that hope leaves pretty fast). And that is why I love Seul contre Tous, it's not about a super villain that wants to destroy the world, it's not about a hero that fights his inner demons but it's also not about a cold blooded murderer, it's about a desperate and angry sicko that is about to break lose and even though he's stuck in a relateable situation, what he makes out of it, is what makes him one of the most sinister characters I've ever seen.
If you want to see something new, intelligent or evil this is your movie!