Two years on from the success of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling team up again in Only God Forgives – an uber-violent revenge tragedy set in neon-lit Bangkok where Julian (Gosling) and his brother Billy (Tom Burke) operate a lucrative drug ring.
When Billy is murdered, Julian’s mother Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) demands the heads of those involved; an order that pits Julian against Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm) a former police chief who takes a hands on (or off) approach to ridding the city of crime.
Only God Forgives is a nightmarish vision of the Thai underworld in the style of a Japanese horror film. It is beautifully crafted and like Drive pulses with emotional rhythms that keep you on the edge of your seat, however it requires a lot of patience and for some it may be too abstract and too violent. (NH)
Jun 15 & 16, State Theatre, 49 Market St, Sydney, $19.50, sff.org.au