Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Initial reaction to Only God Forgives

Okay, this should start off with a question. Whatever happened to the term "visual poetry" when used in reference to film? It seems that this term has been widely replaced with the phrase "style over substance". At what point did it become appropriate or so widespread for mainstream critics to shun projects like this? Instead praising films like Fast & Furious 6 and attempting to send this to hell as fast as possible. Is this film Drive? No. Do not think for a second that this is anything like Drive. You can expect the same kind of violence (sometimes even more brutal), but the relationships here are not defined like mainstream films. You need to look into this, you need to think, you need to understand what characters are feeling from the expressions on their faces.

Many people on the internet are complaining about the lack of dialogue. There are plenty of great movies that lack dialogue. There are also plenty of terrible movies that lack dialogue. This movie may actually have had just as much dialogue as Drive. Its all about the execution. Nicolas Winding Refn knows how to deal with this. The reaction to Valhalla Rising and this could not be any more different, and that is something I cant understand. Both of those films are great pieces of art. Yes they have their own "style" but there is plenty of substance to them as well if you look into it enough. Both of these films lack in dialogue.

At times Winding Refn seems like a hyper violent Andrei Tarkovsky. Where violence and imagery become beauty and those images replace a need for dialogue. Unlike Tarkovsky, this film is not a masterpiece. This film is also not a complete disaster. It doesn't even come close to that. In a world that needs more originality, an art and an industry that needs new life blown in its face, and a country whose people will take Fast 12 (TBA) over anything, do yourself a favor and watch this. Challenge yourself.