Only God Forgives (2013)


When a vigilante cop dispenses summary justice over a murderous drug dealer, his mother arrives in town to claim his body and demands revenge, little realising exactly who it is she is dealing with.

Only God Forgives is another neon-drenched walk on the wild side from Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling, featuring his trademark highly stylised visuals and bursts of visceral violence. The story takes place on the mean streets of Bangkok and features a lone man of at least mild conscience caught between straight psychopaths, one on each side of the law. It is very reminiscent of David Lynch – and Blue Velvet in particular – as well as Chan Wook Park’s Vengeance trilogy and even Stanley Kubrick in its mix of beautiful visuals, surreal imagery and deeply dark and disturbing undercurrents, which makes for a very understated yet extremely compelling thriller.

Bleak and uncomfortable to watch yet strangely beautiful, Only God Forgives is a film that you feel in your gut rather than your head, which grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go.



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