Posted by Zak Hepburn
22. Jul, 2013
That monosyllabic declaration of war from central character Julian, played by Ryan Gosling, encapsulates the entire ethos of Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest complex work.
Set almost entirely in a neon-lit Bangkok at night, each frame of the work is a dazzling, muscular experience.
Shot by Larry Smith (Bronson, Eyes Wide Shut), Only God Forgives is a carefully composed work of minimalist art. Gosling offers a restrained and nuanced performance playing Julian.
When Julian’s brother Billy is murdered, their mother, Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) – the dangerous head of a powerful criminal organisation – arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s corpse.
She also dispatches Julian to find his brother’s killers and take revenge. This pits him against the ‘Angel of Vengeance’ – terrifying police-chief Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm), who is determined to restore order in the most vicious way.
Violent, uncompromising and haunting, Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest film is filled with Lynchian set pieces brimful with an ambient drone. A palpable sense of menace surrounds the film; fueled by aggression, fear and loneliness.
This is a film not afraid to explore the dark corridors of the soul and take each audience member along for the ride.
Only God Forgives is in Limited National Release
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