READER REPORT:

You gotta go see: Only God Forgives

CONNOR STRATI
Last updated 14:30 02/08/2013
only god forgives

STYLISTICALLY FLAWLESS: Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives.

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You've just gotta go see this...

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Only God Forgives is about Julian, played by Ryan Gosling, who runs a Thai boxing club in Bangkok.

Actually, I take that back. The film is not about the plot or the specifics of who is who and what happens. The plot takes a backseat to the artful execution and provocative atmosphere of the film. 

Stylistically flawless, it's an absolute visual feast with endless neon eye candy and excellent music. Moments are tensely drawn out. Dialogue is sparse. The pace is tantalisingly slow, lingering in corridors and alleyways.

The setting is a central character to the film. There is no warmth in this world, no heroes. It's a dark and cruel place, and the main characters don't seem to have many redeeming qualities. It really blurs the lines between what is good and bad, and the complex nature of revenge and justice.

Gosling's performance is masterfully minimal, barely speaking throughout. This minimalism is refreshing when juxtaposed with the highly detailed neon surroundings.

If you go into this expecting a Drive 2 or any kind of conventional storyline for that matter, you will likely be disappointed. Don't try to make sense of every aspect of the story and the character's motivations, it's a film where you have to just give yourself over to the unique experience before your eyes.

This isn't an American blockbuster trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator. This is a brilliantly executed neon-noir arthouse horror. Only God Forgives is cold and harsh at every turn, but constantly intriguing.


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