Only God Forgives (2013) Review
Director Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive”, “Bronson”) puts together a visually stunning film in Only God Forgives. The plot might seem to move slowly for some, but a true fan of the art of acting as well as anyone who enjoys a good play will be very excited to watch as the story unfolds like a flower from a Golden Shower Tree.
The story takes place in Thailand, where the streets are filled with a slow moving mass of chaos and the sets lit with neon that drapes shadows through the pattern of the architecture. This is a very disturbingly beautiful picture that makes perfect sense to only those who don’t need a leash to lead them along.
Most of the dialogue is in Siamese and subtitled, save for a handful of lines that are mostly given by the overly dramatic and emotionally manipulative character of Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) who plays a very overbearing and demanding Westerner in a foreign land that she finds to be beneath herself.
Ryan Gosling plays the part of damaged son to perfection, with his well timed glances and movements that are never out of sync with his frenzied state of calm.
Aside from the Cinematography being almost perfect in every scene, one of the great aspects of this film is how it takes our main character on a very uneven trajectory. One moment you think he is going to be the hero, the next, the villain. If you had to sum up the character in one word, you would be hard pressed to decide between tortured and broken.
The only critique I could give is that the soundtrack sounds like a mix of movies you have already seen, from Inception to Tron Legacy, sometimes it is a distraction and does not mend well with the scenes as they are playing out on screen.
Only God Forgives is not a movie for all to enjoy, as some will get lost in the artistic feel of it and others bored with the theater like performances. However those who will find it entertaining, will not soon forget about it.
Only God Forgives can be found in theaters now.

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