Only God Forgives Reviews
And yes, this film has serious problems in the narrative department and its fairly slow paced, I admit to this. However, "the wisdom of the masses" is wrong(not that it would have been the first time, or smth).
First of all, on a closer look, neither "Drive", nor "Only God Forgives" don't shine, as far as their narratives are concerned. Yes, "Drive" follows a more traditional setup, so the plot is clearer, but it doesn't stand out. What stands out, is the style. Take that away its style and "Drive" becomes a complete waste. The narrative is there only to offer the viewer a sense of familiarity.
And here is where the problems start, as far as "Drive" is concerned. The style is fairly engaging and could have been more so, had it not been interrupted by the "familiar episodes". Yes, they work well enough to trick some viewers into taking them seriously, but they didn't have the same effect on me. I found them frustrating, unconvincing, sometimes laughable even.
And this is why I gave "Drive" a fairly low rating: its craftsmanship is quite remarkable, but it is sabotaged at every turn by cheap and convenient devices and ends up delivering far less than it should have. It isn't a bad film, but a sterile one. It's like that tune that starts out great and then it progresses to something recycled/cliched.
"Only god forgives", on the other hand, throws away all these narrative "pleasantries" and delves deeper into its madness. Yes, it appeals to a smaller audience, but I think Refn knew this from square one, so it's pointless to talk about it.
"Only god forgives" communicates exclusively , photography, inspired soundtrack and thematic shots and, in general, it does a good job.
n the downside, however, this is "undercooked", the dialogue needed some serious improvement(I don't mind that it's vague, but it's also clumsy) and it's too over-the-top for its own good. For example, the restaurant scene with julien, his mother and Mai is embarrassing. Actually, the way Julien mother is written is misguided and unconvincing, to begin with.
Overall, while definitely not a masterpiece, I found this to be far better than people say it is. Yes, Ryan Gosling still offers a bland performance, but here, it kinna works.
My two cents: 3.5/5
Not his best film, but greatly underrated.