Excerpt: Set in a sweaty Bangkok, within a heat-lamp palette of harsh reds and blacks, Only God Forgives starts out in hell, then pushes even further into demonic darkness, resolutely growing more stifling and sinister. It's a far cry from the daydream buoyancy of Drive , which despite its copious violence was still a glimmering bauble, a goofy, gory riff on ideals of heroism filtered through a hodgepodge of fetish symbols and basic Freudian themes.
Conclusion: Simultaneously booed and lauded at Cannes, Only God Forgives is a beautifully shot film of questionable substance from Nicolas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling. Every frame is perfectly lensed in this neon-tinged Thai nightmare about a drug dealer who avenges his brother's murder, but the characters are ugly and the narrative purposely vacant. Kristin Scott Thomas steals her scenes as a trashy chic mother wolf with a violent streak. A curiosity to be sure. .
Conclusion: From Nicolas Winding Refn, if you're expecting another film that matches up with 'Drive,' prepare yourself for disappointment. 'Only God Forgives' may have the strong filmmaking qualities that we wish every film carried, but the story itself is messy and missing several key elements that connect us to the characters and story. The exquisite style compensates for the narrative flaws, but not enough to satisfy.
Conclusion: Only God Forgives is a brutally violent but stylistically captivating film that's layered beyond its surface. The problem is that said surface is so refined, so beautiful that it's sometimes difficult to see the deeper themes and meaning underneath. Multiple viewings open up the film and a second proves much more satisfying than the first when it's a bit easier to look beyond the style and find the other pieces yearning to be discovered therein.
Summary: Eliciting boos at Cannes before winning top honours at the Sydney Film Fest, Only God Forgives is proving even more polarising than the last Nicolas Winding Refn / Ryan Gosling collaboration, Drive . Ostensibly a crime narrative, tonally it’s more of a surreal horror. More Gosling plays Julian, a drug dealer who operates out of a boxing club with his brother Billy. When Billy kills a prostitute, he is quickly murdered by her grieving father, and Julian takes revenge.
Conclusion: Winding Refn räjäytti vuonna 2011 pankin elokuvallaan Drive , josta tuli sekä mainstream-menestys että kulttihitti. Siinä missä moni ohjaaja olisi jatkanut tekemällä lisää samaa, päätti Refn olla tanskalaiseen tapaan hankala ja tehdä oidipaalisen taide-elokuvan. Päällisin puolin Only God Forgives kertoo veljeksistä, jotka pyörittävät hämäräbisneksiä Thaimaassa potkunyrkkeilysalin varjolla.