REVIEW: Only God Forgives

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Only God Forgives
Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by: Nicolas Winding Refn (screenplay)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm and Tom Burke

Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow up to my favorite film of 2011, Drive, will manage to kill whatever good mood you have that day. This time around, rather than sunny California, Winding Refn takes us to what I can only assume is Hell’s Indochinese district. Only one thing happens here: abuse.

The movie starts with Muay Thai boxers trading blows, and it’s the most civil interaction you’ll see from here on out. From a stadium seat view, we descend slowly, with all  wrapped in an orange glow. Julian (Ryan Gosling) sits in the stands, his expression impenetrable. He exchanges a nod from behind the caged bleachers to the only other white men in the gym. They’re down on the floor, likely exchanging some drugs. Either way this is more than a gym. Suddenly we see hands slowly closing to fists, then Julian revealed only by gold bands of light striped across his face. His brother Billy, drunk, bathed in bands of red light, asks if Julian is ready to meet the Devil.

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