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Only God Forgives (2013)

Crime / Drama | 90 minutes
2,96 1.408 votes

Genre: Crime / Drama

Duration: 90 minuten

Country: Denmark / France / United States / Sweden / Belgium

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm

IMDb score: 5,7 (115.099)

Releasedate: 30 May 2013

Only God Forgives plot

"Time to Meet The Devil"

Julian, an American living in Bangkok, is a respected figure in the underworld. Together with his brother Billy, he runs a Thai boxing club that is in fact a front for drug smuggling to America. When Billy is murdered, their mother Crystal comes over from America to repatriate the body. Crystal herself is the head of a powerful criminal organization and is used to getting what she wants. In this case: avenge her son's death. In a bloody spiral of anger, betrayal and revenge, she forces her son Julian to find and kill the person responsible for Billy's death.

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Only God Forgives gets off to a slow start, but the strange enchantment surrounding the film got me fascinated. The daring combination of genres repel and attract again. You don't have to like explicit violence in movies to see OGF, but you also shouldn't be abhorred to see what a classy movie this is. The beautiful shots and atmospheric lighting work like a healing ointment on the horrible scenes that you see in between. It creates a dreamy, almost surreal environment that is detached from reality.

The story seems pretty straight forward but the longer I looked, the more I felt like I knew less. There is a lot of information missing, luckily they manage to shape the relationships between the characters with little dialogue so that we keep just enough interest in the story and are not completely carried away by the audiovisual, even though the ending did little for me personally up.

Ryan Gosling really shines in this film, even more than in Drive I think. I'm starting to understand why they don't give him much text, his strong yet mystical appearance fits this stylistic style and gives it extra cachet. Not to be a fan of the extremely brutal violence, I thought it was quite a good film.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van IH88


  • 8049 messages
  • 3027 votes

“Time to meet the devil.”

I always have the same thoughts and feelings when watching Refn film. The cinematography is so overwhelming that I would like to take a screenshot of every scene, and the atmosphere Refn manages to create every time swallows me completely. But the script often falls short (Drive is an exception), and that's why I was sitting with Only God Forgives afterwards with a lot of mixed feelings.

And yet, every time a Refn film is a joy to watch, and his films will always haunt me for a few days. And that is a quality of the Danish director. Just like casting the right actors, because Gosling, Pansringarm, Mrs. Yayaying and Kristin Scott Thomas are unparalleled.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Lavrot


  • 603 messages
  • 0 votes

If experience has shown that Brussels sprouts taste bad, then when visiting a restaurant, the cook or waiter cannot be blamed for not doing their job properly if the choice has been made for Brussels sprouts.

I had seen Drive from Refn and then Valhalla Rising. At first I thought Drive was "a bit dirty and cheap," but some refined ingredients nevertheless invited a closer analysis, which made me dive very deeply into it; down to the smallest detail, in which a lot came to light, but which even the 5-star voters were too lazy to investigate further. Unfortunately. Anyway, Drive was ultimately very good because of the multiple layers that Refn had deliberately put into it.

Valhalla Rising was dreary and the atmosphere, including the ingredients, did not invite me to delve further into it. Nasty and raw, indigestible, do not touch plate. Pay and politely exit. Finished.

Dan Only God Forgives. Somehow I can sense in my clogs that Refn wants to reveal a story here that is much more than the surface reveals at first glance, but just like with Valhalla I miss the right atmosphere, the delicate balance between elements from the surface and the necessary subliminal accents to want to dive into the depths: the Lynchian seduction is missing.

In short, Refn makes dishes that don't all come out of the kitchen steaming: I don't like OGF any more than VR.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original