Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Only God Forgives 2013 - Film Review

Figure 1- Movie poster

Only God Forgives (2013)  is a visually stunning film by Danish director and written by Nicolas Winding Renfn . The movie is about the beauty, grace and horror of martial arts and it contains strong bloody violence which  features a lot of Thai language with subtitles and spoken dialogue."Emotionally, our artistic expression consists of sex or violence. It all boils down to those two pure emotions that we have." (Arikan 2013)
The director has stated that he wanted "Only God Forgives" the movie to be a Western set in Bangkok. The film was shot in Bangkok but the way it has been shown, according to Al Arikan, writing for Roger Eber.com, suggested that  the Thai capital comes across like the film itself as affected and artificial.

Two brother Billy (Tom Burke) and Julian (Ryan Gosling) are working in Thailand as boxing promoters and drugs dealers.The first few minutes of the story, the elder brother Billy rapes and kills a 16 year old prostitute and he is killed by the girl's distraught father The mother of the brothers ( Kristin Scott Thomas) shows up to collect the body of her favorite son.

Figure 2 - Crystal 
The film reason why the colours are so thematic is because of the hidden symbolic or possibly real nature of the film premise.The Chang characters is suggested as God in human form and these in  his almost psychic abilities good visual design and direction. Nicholas Winding Renfn said in the interview that he encouraged actor to think he is a god . He symbolically represents God and is portrayed as larger than life. powerful and highly respected.  The red and orange lights provide a fiery hellish colour scheme along with Bangkok  which is condemned to rainy, smoggy and moody looking area.

Figure 3- Red and orange light

The film also concentrates on the unhealthy relationship between mother and son and has been likened to the Oedipus complex.
"If the tables were turned your brother would have found your killer and brought his head to me on a fucking platter.” Crystal’s attitude towards Julian swings between aggressive disappointment and sexual possessiveness, defining his emotional repression punctuated with eruptions of masochistic violence." (Llinares 2013)


Ali Arikan, 2013, Roger Ebert.com, http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/only-god-forgives-2013 (Accessed on 23 December 2015)

Llinares, D. (2013) Only god Forgives. Available at: http://www.alternatetakes.co.uk/?2013,8,517 (Accessed: 17 January 2016).


Figure 1- Movie poster
http://images.mymovies.net/images/film/cin/350x522/fid12927.jpg (Accessed on 23 December 2015

Figure 2- Crystal
( Accessed om 23 December 2015)

Figure 3- Red and orange light
( Accessed pm 17 January 2016)

1 comment:

  1. Some good points raised here Dinesh.
    Remember that you need to put the film name in italics too, and the date after it should be in brackets.