Only God Forgives – Film Review

Only God Forgives is a crime drama thriller based in Bangkok‘s underworld. Ryan Gosling plays the character, “Julian” an owner of a kick-boxing gym that’s a front for his family’s business of drug smuggling. When his brother rapes and kills a 16 year old girl and gets murdered for doing so, Julian‘s mother, “Crystal” played by Kristin Scott Thomas demands for Julian to find, punish and kill the one responsible for his brother’s death. The man responsible is none other than a cop, “Chang” played by Vithaya Pansringarm who has taken a drastic approach to keep the neitherworld at bay.

This film was not what I thought it would be. Nevertheless, I found it quite strange and clever. The way this film was written, directed and photographed is amazing enough. I can understand why many did not understand nor enjoyed this film, but I really liked what Nicolas Winding Refn did with it. Karaoke music is used in a very smart way to help tell the story. I also must add that Vithaya Pansringarmwas definitely the stand out performance in this film, showing despite the character’s harsh actions during his work, that Chang still had weaknesses, loves and was still human.

A movie definitely not for everyone. Only God Forgives is about impotence, favouritism, sadism, castration, weakness, submission, symbolism and masochism. It’s violent, fucked up, and I loved it.

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