Thursday, 11 December 2014

Film Review: "Nicolas Winding Refn" Only God Forgives (2013)

Figure 1: Only god forgives Movie poster  

The director "Nicolas Winding Refn" has created a strange story of a man who questions his morality and judgement and what is considered right and wrong. The films narrative is strange and unique while also graphic. there is very little dialogue and as such it makes it hard to understand the film at first, even the main character "Julian" (Ryan Gosling) hardly talks.


Figure 2: still showing heavy use of lighting

Peter Bradshaw says “I can only say that Refn's movie is entirely gripping, put together with lethal, formal brilliance, with bizarre set pieces of sentimentality and nauseous black comedy. It has its own miasma of anxiety and evil, taking place in a universe of fear, a place of deep-sea unreality in which you need to breathe through special gills – and through which the action swims at about 90% of normal speed through to its chilling conclusion. It is a kind of hallucinated tragi-exploitation shocker, an enriched uranium cake of pulp with a neon sheen.” (Bradshaw, 2013) what can be inferred from this is that the film is uses its strange and gruesome murders and horror to progress the story but never tells the viewer if there is any point to what's going on and to top the weirdness of the film there is no clear ending and to most it makes no sense.

Figure 3: "Julian" (Ryan Gosling) 

Through out the film Julian looks at his hands. Damon Wise states "the Angel is summoned from Julian’s warped subconscious as he deals with the fallout from his dysfunctional and psychopathic family. How much is real is never made clear." (D Wise, Empire, 2013). one could say that this can show how what we see in the film may not always be real, for instance we see Julian and the policeman 'Chang' we don't no if what we see is real, we are left wondering if Chang is supernatural as he pulls a katana sword out from nowhere when he kills(punishes) people for their crimes and misdoings.

Figure 4: Julien 'still' after he finds out his brother raped a 16 year old girl

Robbie Collin also agrees and states "Do I love the film? No. But I love it that Winding Refn has made it." (R Collin, The Times,2013). one could say from this that this film could have been made in such a way to make the viewer feel uneasy about what happens, and Winding has been successful in creating a film that stirs emotions using its design and story.

Illustration List

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Bradshaw, P. (2013): [Accessed 10 Dec. 2014].

Damon Wise, Empire, 2013: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2014].

Robbie Collin, The Times, 2013: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2014].

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jamie,

    Don't forget that your quotes need to be in italics! Also, the last quote seems to be highlighted?
    In your bibliography, make sure that you list the authors by surname first, then initial - you have done it with Bradshaw, but not the other two.