Actor Appreciation Week 1 Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

Whilst Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive is seen as a cult classic and rightly so, his more recent collaboration with Gosling received a much more mixed reaction. Perhaps critics and audiences alike expected a spiritual sequel to the bloodsoaked 2011 hit. In some ways it is, with a thirst for explicit violence and the wonderful cinematography. This tale though has a much darker, twisted fantasy to it. The joy of the Gosling/Mulligan relationship of Drive is stripped away almost completely. Instead it is replaced with perversion and at times downright depravity. It’s a tougher watch, but ultimately incredibly rewarding, particularly on repeat viewings. It’s a fascinating, stylised, downright beautiful movie that Winding Refn has etched out, but its reputation as divisive is both understood and deserved.

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