Only God Forgives (Refn, 2013)

Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2013)

The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.  –Psalm 9:17
 
Poetic tone paired with jarring context has never been more meaningful than it is here. Drone-like characters wander slowly, become lost in nightmares, and fill the screen with empty glances. Void of emotion, and most certainly of love, they travel through this neon world with zero sense of urgency, only small amounts of fear, and a non-chalantness that is strikingly odd given the circumstances. The beautiful electronic soundtrack adds to the perplexing ambience and rounds out a simply gorgeous aesthetic experience. So it only makes sense that this world – where disgusting levels of hate and disrespect feel so peaceful and common – must be hell. As the title states, only God forgives (i.e. God’s forgiveness is the only that matters), and absent that is hell – a place where the worst can and will happen, and will be treated as ordinary. Whether intentional or not, Refn’s creation brings this idea to life, and because of that, it’s a horror film unlike any other.  8.5/10
 
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