an hour later and we’re still discussing nicolas winding refn’s film, ONLY GOD FORGIVES.
a meditation on violence, a fantasy-fueled oedipal exploration of impotence, an anxious probing of west meets east as embodied by cultural clichés, a love story… it’s hard to pinpoint.
the dialogue is, at times, either stripped down to its bare archetypal essence or tone deaf… sometimes, it’s hard to tell, just as the story constantly wavers between “reality” and “fantasy.” hyper-real, surreal, not real.
and then there’s the question of god: who is the god in this film? kristin scott thomas’s dominant mother? vithaya pansringarm’s character of chang, the protector/policeman? ryan gosling’s somewhat hapless julian? yayaying rhatha phongam’s mai who seems to be all-seeing?
my wife thinks the film belongs in the same discussion as SPRING BREAKERS… i think it’s more like FEAR X / VALHALLA RISING + KILL BILL. there are undercurrents of kubrick and von trier but it feels more tarantino, but also like a reworking of one of refn’s earlier films, fear x.
curious about the depiction of bangkok and its residents – whose point of view are we seeing the city through?
does it pass muster? yes, i liked the film. a bit baffled but i think it’s worth seeing.