Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Only God Forgives": Gosling Gets Thoughtful Hurtful in Refn's Latest 

Wednesday, Jul 17 2013
Comments

It's easy to imagine David Lynch feeling a little slighted by the dedication to Alejandro Jodorowsky at the end of Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives. Not that Refn doesn't owe a debt to Jodorowsky, but Only God Forgives has a dreamlike tone and an obsession with spooky hallways and mysterious doors the likes of which hasn't been seen since Lynch's mid-nineties high-water marks, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Lost Highway. For that matter, the mainstream audiences that were famously alienated by Refn's previous picture Drive will be even more confounded by this one, which has a seemingly action-packed premise: Ryan Gosling shoots 'n' punches his way through Bangkok's criminal underworld to avenge the death of his brother, on orders from his crime-boss mother (Kristin Scott Thomas, relishing her stunningly potty-mouthed dialogue). Instead, it's a deeply meditative (some might say "masturbatory") art film punctuated by bursts of unpleasant sexuality and highly graphic violence — not even the fun kind of sex and violence! — plus no fewer than three karaoke scenes, and a pace that makes Drive look like The Fast and the Furious. None of which is a bad thing, and Only God Forgives is gorgeous to look at, but those viewers not on the film's wavelength may never forgive it.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"