Sunday, 16 March 2014

Film Reviews - Drive & Only God Forgives Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

DRIVE (2011)

All this driver wanted was a normal life, but it's not that simple. 
Review: When I initially saw the television spots for this film when it was first released I wasn't interested at all, because it just seemed like one of those Fast and furious, action, racing-car type movies so I didn't go to see it. But this year I saw some other people's reviews and critics opinions online saying that it wasn't that type of film at all , so I decided to give it a try and wow, boy am I a fan of Nicolas Winding Refn now. This film is beautifully executed, well paced, the story's fantastic with great acting.  I had just recently got into 80's Synth movie music from those awesome 80's cheese movies and games like "Hotline Miami" and "Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon", this movie works with this genre of music, I love it and also a great score by Cliff Martinez, with atmosphere, tension and slow Synth music. People have been put off by the violence, saying that it's not necessary, which I think is not true at all,  the violence is there for a deep meaning and to promote the story. Another thing that's great about this movie is that it takes it's time to tell it's story,  which  gives this film a good tense mood to each scene. You don't know which way the scene will go, so you're fixed to the screen wondering how each sequence will end.
^^Here's an example^^ 
Plot: Drive is the story of a Hollywood stunt driver by day (Ryan Gosling), a loner by nature, who moonlights as a top-notch getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld. He finds himself a target for some of LA's most dangerous men after agreeing to aid the husband of his beautiful neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan). When the job goes dangerously awry, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to what he does best -Drive! 

Verdict: Drive is an excellent Drama/ Action film in that order. Watching the main character's downward spiral of trying to be the good person/ hero he's always wanted to be makes us feel sorry for him, but he has a perfect pay off in the end which I wont give away. This film gets a 9.5/ 10 a near perfect score, any film that makes me buy the main characters jacket, to look like him, is a good film in my book. If you haven't seen this film already and you want more than just an all out action movie, then definitely go and watch this.


Either love this film or hate it, Ryan Gosling still wants a fight!

Review: As if "Drive" didn't have enough problems, like getting sued for not having enough action in it, (Yes that actually happened!) plus getting people on the same wave length as the Director. This film has the critics and general movie goers split right down the middle. What most people complain about is the pacing of the film, saying it's too slow.  Granted for being a 90 minute movie, it did feel  a bit longer, but not that long, for it to be unbearable like some say. I have to admit I watched it twice to get the ending down, but much like the game "Bioshock: Infinite" the clue is in the title.  I now have a greater knowledge of why the movie is what it is and more respect for the characters and story. Again the soundtrack is composed by Cliff Martinez with great atmospheric orchestration, but being set in Bangkok it also has a few Thai karaoke songs which many didn't like, but I thought they were good , catchy and served a purpose to the story. This is probably one of the strangest films I've seen, other than "Eraserhead" but it's fascinating to watch.  For me, much like Drive, I was always wondering what would happen next. Violence makes the story for this film even more so than in "Drive" and is even more necessary because of the subject matter, the locaction it's based in, and the culture that surrounds the movie. One thing I didn't mention for both films is the cinematography, it's incredible, even more so in "Only God Forgives", and it works brilliantly with the Thai neon lighting. 

^^Here's the trailer for the film^^

Plot: Julian (Ryan Gosling) runs a boxing club in Bangkok as a front for a drugs operation. He has everything he wants for until his brother is murdered, and his mother (Kristin Scott Thomas)  the head of a powerful criminal organization, arrives to collect her son's body. Furious with grief, she dispatches Julian to find his killers and "raise hell". The stage is set for a bloody journey of betrayal and vengeance towards a final confrontation and the possibility of redemption.       

Verdict: I admire this film for its challenge to tell a narrative so different from most cinematic experiences.  It's one of those movies that will talked about for a long time. Unfortunately, people are too quick to dismiss this film as confusing, slow or even disturbing. Nicolas Winding Refn Created a masterpiece and people should experience this if they haven't already.  I found it hard to decide between this film and "Drive", but I give this film a 10/10, as it's my favourite movie by Nicolas Winding so far, and I look forward to seeing many more of his films in future. 

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