Only God Forgives Review – Hmm, Different

JulianBilly raped and killed a 16-year-old girl.

Crystal (mother of Julian & Billy responds in a nonchalant tone) – I’m sure he had his reasons.

Only God Forgives (2013)

Hands are chopped off, throats slashed deep, eyes gouged out, people disemboweled, eardrums destroyed with knives, and palms nailed to chair-arms with knives, all as the victims scream, howl and yelp in indescribable agony.

If none of that prove interesting or gory enough to hold your interest, for backup there’s shooting into a crowd of diners,  people being battered to death or pummeled senseless, sizzling oil thrown into people’s faces and minor girls raped and battered to death.

If even that doesn’t shake you up, there’s the peerless scene of the incestuous mother comparing cock sizes of her two grown-up sons.

Billy, she tells Julian, was ‘enormous.’ 😉

And all you putzheads thought, size doesn’t matter!

Violence – Thai Style

A visually engaging film dripping in violence, Only God Forgives is one of the better English films that came my way in 2013.

If nothing else, the violence or the menacing, looming threat of violence in Only God Forgives ought to keep you glued to the screen!

Directed by Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, Only God Forgives is an original.

Not one of those focus-group driven Hollywood drivel churned out by studio suits in Los Angeles with an unflinching eye on the box office.

Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm play the three main characters of the Muay Thai fight club owner/drug dealer Julian, Julian and Billy’s mother Crystal and the Thai cop respectively.

Boy, each one is a sui generis character! Nothing like I’ve seen in an English film in several months.

After Billy’s brutal killing at the behest of the Thai cop, Crystal comes to Bangkok to bury her first born and avenge his death.

When Julian explains that Billy’s killing is ‘complicated,’ Crystal vows to do whatever his necessary to avenge her son’s murder, setting in motion an orgy of violence.

I found a lot to like about the movie – the occasional surreal moments, dim, red lit rooms and aisles of the fight club, eerie background music and the Thai cop’s calm Karaoke singing.

A lot of this movie is bizarre, if you ask me.

But nice, engaging bizarre!

The dialogs are biting, particularly the words falling out of Crystal’s mouth and more so when they drip acid in incongruous settings like when Julian, Mai and Crystal are out at a restaurant for dinner.

Swish of the Knife – Thrilling

Say what you will, but killing and butchering with a long knife, the way the Thai cop does in this film, has a thrill that’s completely missing with a gun, big or small.

American fascination with guns is like their new-found obsession with drones! A safe, cheap toy that demands little of the lazy wielder of the weapon! 😉

A gun ends life in a clinical, boring way but a knife induces drama into the l’affaire murder.

The mere use of a knife to kill or draw blood magnifies the violence 10-fold and heightens the drama 20-fold.

Just the anticipation of the swish of the long knife coming out of the Thai cop’s back side was enough to keep my eyes wide open.

Even if you don’t like the movie, you’ve got to admit the photography and acting leaves little room for complaint.

Only God Forgives is doubtless an original and enthusiastically recommends it to the rare Indian schmuck who can look beyond the crappy Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood bilge!

Only God Forgives is available at Red Box and Netflix in the U.S.

4 Responses to "Only God Forgives Review – Hmm, Different"

  1. boopalanj   December 17, 2013 at 6:50 am

    It holds only 39% in RT? Responds:

    Don’t hold me responsible for poor judgment of others!

  2. sam   December 17, 2013 at 7:47 am

    AAP will write 25 lakh letters to citizens to know their views on government formation, Kejriwal said. He also added that people can call, send SMS or give their opinion on party’s website till Sunday.

    Depending on the responses, the party will decide on Monday the next step on govt formation.

    Dimag Kharab Ho Gaya Hai Uska… Responds:

    Yes, bad move!

    The only form of Democracy that works is Limited Democracy.

    As Henry Ford rightly said:

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

    Most humans are ill-suited for democracy.

    As I’ve said on countless occasions, my favorite form of government is Limited Democracy of the Singapore kind.

  3. Madmax673   December 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    There were two scenes I liked a lot in this one:

    1. The short moment between Chang and his daughter where he justifies his action in a subtle manner (while reading a book to his daughter if I remember right).

    2. The fight scene between him and Ryan Gosling. The way he slowly tires Julian up and then starts to take his own stance and beats him to pulp.

    I heard this film got booed at Cannes. Probably because of Ryan Gosling’s action image. “Drive” was really good! It had a great soundtrack too! Responds:

    1. Just listened to both tracks (in your above links).

    Good! Thanks!! 🙂

    Let me check if Netflix carries Drive!

    2. BTW, Bride of Chang and Wanna Fight tracks from Only God Forgives are solid.

    2. Another thing that endeared Only God Forgives to me is its unhurried pace.

    Normally, one associates violence with a frenetic pace.

    But in Only God Forgives, the ‘action’ actually ambles along at a leisurely pace.

    Even the walking style of Julian & the Thai Cop – Slow, measured steps.

    3. You write: I heard this film got booed at Cannes.

    Me thinks people are so drugged into the feel-good, focus-group driven Hollywood bilge that they have difficulty accepting ‘different’ movies!

  4. Vinith   March 3, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    This movie is available in NFLX instant.

    And since I consider myself to be one of those rare Indian schmucks who has eyes beyond the Indian garbage, I shall watch it tonight. 😛 Responds:

    Bloody Gory!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login