Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
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Nicolas Winding Refn
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Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian killed a man and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty. When Julian's brother murders an underage prostitute, the police call on retired cop Chang - the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter's murderer, then 'restores order' by chopping off the man's right hand. Julian's mother Crystal - the head of a powerful criminal organization - arrives in Bangkok to collect her son's body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and 'raise hell'. Written by
Production hit a snag when it became necessary to pay off the local authorities in order to get permission and protection to film at night, including firing gunshots, for certain scenes. Refn and star Ryan Gosling were invited to a film festival in Thailand. After some negotiating and taxes, they received 90,000 USD in cash for showing up. Refn recounts in his commentary how, having never seen that amount in cash in his entire life, he enjoyed counting it out himself. It was enough to bribe the necessary authorities, and production continued. See more »
When Julian fought Chang, Chang kicked Julian in the left leg several times leaving Julian unable to walk normally, but later on Julian is seen stumbling on his right leg rather than the left. See more »
Those giving this movie 1/10 are saying far more about their own absolute ignorance of film and extreme immaturity than they are about this movie. I don't expect everyone to like this film - it is certainly not for fans of Hollywood blockbusters and those who start their reviews with statements similar to 'I went to see this movie because I like Ryan Gosling/Kristin Scott Thomas' render all further comments null and void - their opinions are simply worthless and cannot be taken seriously.
The cinematography is excellent and the acting superb. Those complaining of Gosling's lack of animation are completely missing the point that his character is empty and completely subjugated beneath the force of his mother. This movie is full of symbolism, psychology and philosophy and every shot and sequence masterfully executes the portrayal and exploration of these themes. Distinct allusions to David Lynch are apparent but these do not come off as derivative but rather as homage.
If you like Hollywood blockbusters or Rom-Coms stay away from this movie and don't bother deriding this movie due to your own lack of mature and critical thinking. On the other hand, if you appreciate excellent cinematography and exploring deeper themes of the unconscious, however dark they may be, do not be put off by the extremism of those giving this movie 1/10 and go and decide for yourself.
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