Friday, 3 January 2014

Film Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

I recently watched 'Only God Forgives' after missing it at the cinema, and I'm glad! I hadn't realized it was directed by Refn, who directed 'Drive' ... therefore the fact that Ryan Gosling says three words throughout the whole film suddenly made more sense!
The film is extremely stylized and in the same vein as 'Drive'... you really need to be focusing on what's going on and making your own opinions of the plot, for it to make any sense once you reach the end.
Ryan Gosling plays Julian, a guy in Bangkok who runs a Muay Thai gym, which also acts as a drugs operation. I guess the Muay Thai part of it made me interested in watching the film, although there is hardly anything of it in the film.
The main plot is that his brother rapes and murders a prostitute, who is avenged by her father. Julian's mother who is brilliantly played by Kristin Scott Thomas (and as I work in fashion, I instantly saw how her character is amusingly based on Donatella Versace), seeks revenge and insists that the father be killed. Julian does not believe it is the right thing to do while his mother later discovers that a Thai lieutenant with a sword (very random, but very cool) allowed the girl's father to kill her son (are you following?). Donatella Versace lookalike then orders her son to kill the guy-with-the-sword .. and then it all gets a bit confusing and by this point I am trying so hard to stay awake because although I have described the plot in 4 sentences, the entire film is VERY slow-paced with lots of other things happening in between.
However, it finally gets exciting and my eyelids perk up when Julian challenges the Thai-lieutenant-with-a-sword to a Muay Thai fight!! The fight was brilliant but I just wish it was longer!!! I haven't been to my Muay Thai sessions for months and watching the fight definitely wanted me to resume! Part of me was hoping that Julian would not win because that would be WAY too farfetched. Of course the Thai guy is going to win! .. and boy was I pleased that he got beaten the **** out of.
Overall, it wasn't a mind-blowing film and maybe if I wasn't so tired that day, I would have enjoyed it a little more... but, good effort I guess.
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