Sunday, July 28, 2013

3 Thoughts on Only God Forgives

1. It's so pretty - There have been many (not so) valid complaints and critiques of this movie, but I think everyone can agree on one thing: it's fucking beautiful.  Every single shot; every single scene. Yes, even the violence is beautiful.  This is the same exact feeling that I have about Drive.  When someone first mentioned the violence in Drive to me, I actually had to stop and think "oh yah...I guess it is pretty violent", but when the scenes are so visually stunning, the violence is hardly noticeable, for me.  When someone can take all of the ugly things in this world and turn it into something like this, I call it "art".  Nicolas Winding Refn has my full attention (and no...I haven't seen Valhalla Rising yet. I know. I KNOW! Stop yelling at me).

2. Ryan so pretty - This is what my dreams are made of: Ryan Gosling. Scruffy. White T-shirt. Not talking. When I told my friend I wanted to see this movie, she commented on the fact that she was "so over" his whole "silent brooding thing".  First, who cares?! Do you not have eyes? Are you really going to complain about looking at Ryan Gosling for 90 minutes?  To be honest, I never even considered him as "hot" until Drive. I thought he was a fantastic actor and yes, he was attractive, but I don't think he maintained "hot" status until recently.  He's definitely getting more attractive as he gets older, as most men do (and I would argue that most women do too. For example, Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock. Oh and speaking of Sandra Bullock, remember like 10 years ago when she dated Ryan?  The gossip mags called him her "boy toy". This woman is my hero.).  I know how awful my objectification of him might sound, but it's really not just based on his looks. There's just something about him (and yes...I totally just sung "there's something inside's hard to explain..." as I typed that). Second, as far as the whole "silent brooding thing", I'm not "so over" it. He does it well, and every actors best asset is to play to their strengths.  I LOVED him in this movie, mostly because he had this smirk on his face through the whole thing. It was the kind of smirk that I have on my face when I'm pretending to listen to someone, but instead I'm thinking in my head "I hate every fucking thing about you".  I think the smirk was appropriate for his character in relation to the other characters, but it also had this slightly personalized feeling.  It's as if Ryan is in on the joke; he knew that his performance would be widely criticized and this smirk is a big "fuck you" to everyone.  It makes me love him even more. Also, The Huffington Post had an article about how Ryan "wrote" the dialogue in the dinner scene with his mother"girlfriend", which is awesome if true.  That's my favorite scene of the whole movie!! It should also be said that Kristin Scott Thomas is unbelievable in this role.

3. Everyone is crazy - It's fine if you don't like the movie. Everyone has a valid opinion and obviously that is what makes the world so much fun to live in. Blah, blah, blah...whatever.  However, I've heard some downright baffling comments about it. Words like "empty", "soulless", "unwatchable" and my favorite, "one-dimensional".  Personally, I think if that is how you describe this movie, you belong in a loony bin!!!  It's classic Greek tragedy stuff and everything in the history of story-telling can be linked back to Ancient Greece.  If you don't like it, then you don't like movies!!  I realize that not everyone is as obsessed with Greek literature as I am (in high school I translated the Iliad from the original Latin. For fun. And no, I wasn't a geek; I was actually quite popular), but I think everyone can appreciate the layers of drama that unfold within these tragedies.  This is not a simple movie. It will take time, energy and several re-watches to absorb all of it.  I loved Drive when I first saw it, but after several viewings I found so much more depth than I initially thought.  I would now describe Drive as a "perfect movie".  I don't see myself ever loving Only God Forgives in the same way, but one never knows.

1 comment:

  1. Like this review, the silent brooding thing for Gosling is more palpable in this movie as you understand why (his past) and the film isn't solely focused on him so much.

    One dimensional plot is the most laughable criticism, its anything but.