dir: Nicolas Winding Refn
Holy Shit! What the hell was that all about?
What a strange, pointless film.
Well, maybe it’s not pointless, in that its point is to be a very lurid kind of film, very similar to other kinds of lurid, nasty films that this same prick of a director has made in the past. Refn has made, to date, films as stylised, nasty, pointless and quease-inducing as the Pusher trilogy, Bronson, Valhalla Rising and Drive
All nasty, all distinctive (in that they look like the work of a few other directors, rather than most other directors), but hard to really pin down, or, in my case, like. Drive, his last one, was beloved by a lot of people who have the singular distinction and blessing of not being me. I really couldn't see what the fuss was all about. I will agree that a non-verbal Ryan Gosling could be a good thing if you didn't like the Canadian way he talked, but I like Gosling as much when he's talking as when he's not.
I knew that Only God Forgives would be something of a trawl, a low-life transgressive foray into the dark underbelly of Refn's brain, and I expected to hate it, hearing how pointlessly lurid and violent it was.
I didn't expect to actually enjoy it. I don't really 'enjoy' Nicolas Winding Refn movies: I endure them. But this one clicked for me, and I think the only reason is that its grand absurdity and neon drowned scenes worked.
And I might have been slightly inebriated when I watched it, but don't tell anyone. And by 'slightly inebriated', I could mean that a heroic volume of alcohol might have been consumed prior and during my viewing of this dirty pimp of a movie.
Only God Forgives entirely transpires in Bangkok. Why Bangkok? Because it's a beautiful, sensitive construct that appreciates and celebrates the unique qualities of Thai people and culture?
Oh hell no. Because Refn wanted the story set somewhere where underage prostitutes being raped and murdered, people settling conflicts with kickboxing and a cop killing people with a sword would look commonplace.