Not content with their deconstruction of the American superhero in ode to violence Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling reteam for this summer’s Only God Forgives, from which several new stills have emerged today.
The film, in which Gosling’s Thai boxing underboss is tasked by his mother to avenge his brother’s recent death, sounds like more of the same from the pair whose fascination with the nature of violence, its influences and its influence made Drive a deceptively deep film about a man driving fast cars.
One of the new images show Gosling, fists raised against a typically red backdrop without the slightest trace of fear or anger etched across his face. If I were pushed towards analyzing the image, I’d make some mention of the fact that the stance (seen above) is itself a universally recognized symbol of violence, but Gosling’s Julian may as well be standing in line for a bus.
As far back as Bronson at the latest, Refn’s MO has been the coupling of brutality and mundanity, and if this single image and the plot of this film are enough to go by, Only God Forgives should be no different. What’s more, I’d go as far to say that as good as Drive is, he may be about to drop his masterpiece here.
You can check out snaps of Kristin Scott Thomas as Julian’s mother and Vithaya Pansringarm’s superbly-named The Angel Of Vengeance below.
Only God Forgives has been tied to a late May release, and is expected to feature at this year’s Cannes with a trailer to run ahead sometime in the next fortnight. Refn’s slowly building a solid filmography without variance in theme or quality. Would you agree this latest release seems destined to maintain that standard?