Vortex (Decaying in Love Psychological Drama)


Have you ever watched a movie that rattled you deep to your core? The kind of film that you just can’t shake and the very thought brings tears to your eyes? Yeah, Vortex is one of those movies. Actually, it’s more than a mere piece of cinema, this is the dividing line where Gaspar Noe finally stops being an exceedingly talented, yet excessive enfant terrible, and becomes a genuine artist. Lui and Elle are an elderly couple living out their golden years in France. Both are suffering from conditions such as dementia and heart disease. They know their time is short, but the love between them is so strong and everlasting that neither can imagine spending a moment without the other. As much as their son Alex wants to see them extend their lives in assisted living, neither Lui or Elle are prepared to part ways with each other.


Like a post-mortem photograph, Vortex captures many emotions and feelings that are incomprehensible at first yet reveal themselves over time. Noe’s use of split screen imagery reinforces the point of the film while keeping it visually fresh and interesting. Respect must also be given to Dario Argento for giving the character of Lui a real gentlemanly quality that makes the viewer love him and hate seeing him in any kind of pain or suffering. Many critics have said this is a film about accepting one’s fate, the inevitable factor of death looming over all of us. While I can see that, the most important thing in Vortex is the tender depiction of true and genuine love, the kind that cynics claim no longer exists. To see two people in a film who love each other so much that they refuse to leave even at the moment of death and onset of decay is almost revolutionary in this day and age. Credit again to Noe for developing the emotional maturity to make a film of this nature. Make no bones about it, Vortex is real gut-wrenching horror that brings to light issues that we all must face. Like the best of Bergman, this is a film that will leave you thinking about it long after the final frame.


Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

Vortex (2021)
Gaspar Noe
4.5 / 5