This is an Awyee first. We (just me) at Awyee feel like it’s time to branch into the arts. My nose isn’t up and I’m not wearing (overly) large glasses, I shower, and I don’t live in Williamsburg. At the same time I don’t listen to Vanessa Carlton or Neyo, I was never Smirnoff “iced”, and I refuse to say Breakfast Club was a good movie. So with that, you should get a simple image of what my opinion could consist of when I choose to review Only God Forgives.
If you’ve been living under a rock, or haven’t been reading the latest issue of Teen Vogue, I would assume you’ve heard about Ryan Gosling’s new film with his best friend, and Eurotrash socialist, Nicolas Winding Refn. A few weeks ago it was the most hyped thing at Cannes—the french were J-ing their pants in anticipation–Ryan Gosling surrounded by neon lights and Pad Thai noodles in overly extended and seemingly dramatic frowny face staredowns .. Who wouldn’t want that?
Well, when the curtains came down so went up their hairy french arms in protest. I like to imagine they were throwing tomatoes, or maybe hitting cherry tomatoes with a baguette like a baseball game–not sure if I’m combining two different stereotypes. Either way, the press wasn’t good. Apparently Gosling had a tally of seventeen speaking lines and the violence was pointless and horrid. Harvey Weinstein getting f***** isn’t limited to the imaginary universe in Entourage.
For all the press did to bash the film, it did make me want to see if the movie was truly a piece of shit. How bad could it be? I was pleasantly surprised by Drive the second time I watched it. Would O.G.F be good?
No. It’s horrible, but a tiny bit good–and there’s a few reasons why.
Everything reported at Cannes is true. Gosling all but mumbles his words out in a shy pathetic, character that isn’t the slightest bit convincing, but I won’t even blame Gosling for the acting. When you’re given a 17 line script, you need to act hardcore to deliver the character’s development to the audience. I don’t think anyone could have pulled off what the director was trying to do. It’s like asking Sloth from the Goonies to act as Macbeth. Shit don’t work. As much as Gosling is born to be the coy heartthob that makes tween girls ooze out of unfamiliar places, Only God Forgives doesn’t give his normally quiet/reserved personality strength and stature. He’s just like, a big pussy.
And as slow as the movie is, there’s too many things weighing on Julian to decidedly call him only one type of character by the end of the film. In the beginning he’s a quiet wannabe-jive turkey-but-complete-pussy, running a drug ring, the next he’s screaming, or dazed, possibly stoned, or all-knowing suicidal. The more I try to describe him , the more I feel confused as to how to describe who I watched, but at the same time I remember how retarded the whole viewing felt. Did I watch what they call a “transformation”? Maybe Gosling is trying to avoid smile lines? Were my eyes and ears raped by a Danish dickhead? I have never-ending questions and I can’t say it’s for good reason. I almost paid $14 to see some cheapo neon glam metrosexual images of Ryan Gosling–thank god for internet streaming. I can’t imagine I would have ever said this pre-O.G.F., but Tough Mudder might be a better investment of time and money. Considering the movie is only an hour and a half, I wouldn’t expect desire to watch paint dry instead. Maybe the studio is updating to the latest Final Cut Pro and extended every scene 30 frames too long. I understand the power that comes with a deep stare, but don’t do it every scene. You make me want to murder something innocent.
All in all the movie made me feel like Andy Dufresne–in the hole–post Tommy Williams meet, and pre- escape. I have no hope for a movie so selfishly dedicated to style over substance– and if this Refn’s go-to move for all future movies, you can count me out. It felt like watching Devo when I was 8. I’d rather start a crystal habit and watch Breaking Bad on repeat.
I didn’t really leave you with much of a review, so sorry, but it’s a piece of shit.
Wow. That was a shitty review