Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives ★★★★½

84/100

Aching, rustling NWR™ trash engulfed in pitch black spaces and sizzling neon. The viewer follows the story of Julien - his presence molded from silence, outspoken in violence - but Mai is the vivid, bleeding heart; daring to stare into the dismissive gaze of Crystal instead of keeping her eyes closed. So much of Refn's film is the product of being aroused, the act of seeing versus clamped eyelids, sexual freedom versus intentional/forced repression. Gaudy clubs, glittering hallways still lead to fatal outbursts, confronted by justice whether they were initiated by vengeance or not. Only God Forgives is an outcry to many, a torturous, impenetrable, unknown provocation, but I find a lot more than visceral horrors within its corridors. "Cause she's my mother." croons Julian; the ultimate defense. Maternal love turned slinky and smooth, hugs transformed into sensuous greetings. Despite its supposed lack of dialogue, nothing is left unsaid.

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