Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Only God Forgives



I honestly felt like I woke up when I left the auditorium.
This entire movie is like a dream.

For the first 20 minutes, I sat paralysed – staring at the screen, absorbing the colour, music and suspense.
The plot is simple:
A young fella’s brother is murdered – and he goes out to get revenge.
..but the man he decides to go after is ‘bloody’ VICIOUS. Terrifying, in fact.
And all Hell breaks loose…

‘Only God Forgives’ reminds me of one of those pieces of live theatre I’ve seen in the past; plenty of “actor pauses for lengthy period” moments and elegant, swift changes in movement.
And in dream-like sequence, a few scenes have actors who simply sit / stand. Staring. Frozen. Not moving, but adding just as much importance to the scene as the main character.
And mirroring something we have all experienced in dreams – the disadvantage  (even though you know what is happening and have legs) of not being able to move.
At one point, a scenario unfolds in which I was thinking “just bloody LEAVE! Get the next taxi out of there”
..but the character (like in a dream) sort of stands there, accepting what is coming toward her.

Moving on to cast now, and..
Need I say more?
The dirty blond rogue excels himself in this movie – and yet he utters just fewer than 20 lines.
Its all in the face.
I didn’t realise before, but Ryan Gosling is a superb physical actor with great facial expression.
If I’m totally honest, a few close-up’s of his face was enough to make me (out loud, unfortunately) sigh in dreamy “I want you” mode.

Kristin Scott-Thomas.
She is absolutely blinding as Gosling’s mother – just her posture & eyes are enough to burn through you, as she mouths her way through Bangkok.
She delivers awe-inspiring one-liner’s that would make the toughest Policeman quiver.

There is one particular scene where a man is being tortured by the main ‘baddie’ in a pretty little restaurant.
And its sinister.
We are introduced to the scene by a female vocalist singing on stage to a silent audience – the words in her song are nothing short of strange (words / sentences us Brits would never fit into a single note!)
..the female vocalist on stage immediately stops singing and closes her eyes as the torture takes place.
So does everyone else in the restaurant.
All fall silent, sat like little dolls in pretty dresses, eyes closed – as the ‘baddie’ takes charge of his business…

This entire movie engulfs its audience in spectacular colours, tension and emotion, which can only be described as ‘dream-like’ – because the entire feature is played out as many of us have experienced before..
..when we’re asleep.

Do not show this movie to a friend / relative who is under the influence of a Class-A drug.
..they may explode. Basically.



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This entry was posted on August 4, 2013 by .
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