Before committing to the entire film, I watched a trailer and even skimmed a few reviews on Gaspar Noé’s latest, Love. None of these indicated to me that it was an erotic film, though in hindsight they probably should have. But from the opening scene - a slow, graphic sex scene - it became clear that this was, in fact, porn.
While this wasn’t what I was looking for, it wasn’t a totally unwelcome surprise. My exposure to artfully erotic film had thus far been limited, and it seemed like a learning experience. So I kept watching.
The film follows Murphy (Karl Glusman), who wakes groggy and hungover one New Year's Day. He receives a frantic call from his ex-girlfriend's mother, informing him that her daughter, Electra (Aomi Muyock), has gone missing. Fearing the worst, Murphy spends the rest of that dreadful day attempting to contact her, and reminiscing about the rise and fall of the greatest love of his life, one from which he never fully recovered.
‘Love’ often appears to be more coitus than plot development, but these explicit scenes are key in communicating the ever-shifting state of the complex and sexually-charged relationship between Murphy and Electra. The downside is that these escapades tend to drag on longer than necessary, and eventually start to feel tedious.
Love is certainly an interesting film. The sex scenes, though frequent and lengthy, aren’t entirely gratuitous, as Noé attempts to expose an emotionally intricate story through this intensely physical medium.