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Only God Forgives
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Only God Forgives has some of the most shockingly ornate film violence in recent memory and that very same aestheticized violence is what has been earning it shaky reviews from critics (currently 38% at Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this review) and audiences (Currently 6.2 on IMDB) alike. What it all comes down to is how much you can appreciate the art of filmmaking. That may sound like the most pretentious critic statement of all time, but Only God Forgives is a film that has absorbed its influence from many cinematic greats. Throughout the movie I could not stop recalling Stanley Kubrick films like The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut. Eventually the credits reveal that Kubrick's frequent crew member Larry Smith was the director of photography for Refn on this picture. Kubrick is not the only auteur whose influence can be seen in this film. Artists like David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky (whom the film is dedicated to) can be recognized by the seasoned eye.
One of the criticisms in customer reviews is the film's violence. Only God Forgives is not for viewers with weak stomachs or squeamish tendencies.If someone reading this is considering showing this to their kids for any reason I can confidently say that they should keep their children under the age of 16 as far away from this movie as possible.Read more ›
The setting is Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian (Ryan Gosling) killed a man and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty. When Julian's brother Billy (Tom Burke) murders an underage prostitute, the police call on retired cop Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm) - the Angel of Vengeance whose other obsession is Karaoke singing. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter's murderer, then 'restores order' by chopping off the man's right hand.Read more ›
The story is very tough to follow because we don't really have a protagonist to connect with since we know so little about them to begin with. The movie doesn't care to let us know enough since hardly anyone speaks in the movie. Gosling's role is bare bones. He is great in Drive (also from this director), but here he's given almost nothing to work with as his scenes are just flashes of him frozen in thought, but almost no action afterwards.
It shows him with clenched fists for a minute with explanation, then cuts to a scene with a brutal police boss attack criminals.
Very strange film. At the end, I could see the point, but only after listening to the commentary. Too abstract for the storytelling and entertainment I was looking for. Abstract, dreamlike and a very experimental film... Not for me anyway.
Enter Chang, often accompanied by a squad of loyal cops, who apparently view his backalley judgements and punishments as Divine Will. His attire is instantly recognizable to locals as the uniform of a retired policeman, and he wields a Kachin Dha*, a tool, weapon and traditional executioner's sword. Known as 'The Angel of Death', he grows more terrifying as the film continues, an ancient and preternatural arbitrar of judgement and retribution. Chang involves himself as an interlocutor in the language of barbarity, with the purpose of cutting the circle of revenge and providing an end-point, an exit, a way out. He leads the girl's father to the room where his daughter's corpse and her killer were both waiting, and lets the father beat Billy's head to splinters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good film especially cinematography and Bangkok locals. I also sensed that the director was a fan of David Lynch. It was a bit overly and unnecessarily gory.Published 2 days ago by Peter Harrington
You can always cover a pig in glitter but its still a pig. I felt the draw to this movie from its diverse and cinematographic trailer. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Ross
with embarrassing acting by main actors starting with Gosling. director is clearly borrowing heavily from the old tv series, Twin Peaks, including couple of scenes of night club... Read morePublished 4 days ago by groundie
Found myself fast-forwarding thru the slow spots. There were many.Published 6 days ago by Mr. Yesca
The movie represents two perspicacious individuals with extraordinary self control. Original plot.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
I personally didn't really like it.It didn't really make sense to me.Published 9 days ago by Mayra Barroso