Overall, I liked the movie more than I didn't but I still had plenty of problems with it as well.

Make no mistake about it; this is an art-house film. The way it looks, the way it story moves along , the way its characters are used, there is nothing mainstream about any of it. So if you don't like these type of movies, you should stay away from it, no matter what. But if you're OK with movies that are trying to do something different, this movie is definitely worth giving a go.

Not everything this movie is trying to do and achieve works out though. Some of it actually really doesn't! It's perhaps a bit too harsh to say this movie annoyed me at times but it certainly was doing some things that I wasn't particularly fond of, or impressed with.

Sure, the movie is absolutely fantastic looking with its cinematography, use of colors and framing but the movie is trying to let every single shot look like a piece of art. It feels forced and while it at all times is something beautiful to look at, it at the same time also prevents you from ever feeling involved with any of the events that are happening on the screen. It actually truly causes you to sort of feel detached from the movie at parts.

It in general is hard to feel engaged with the movie its story and characters. The movie itself makes this really hard, by not ever providing you with a story that is easy to latch onto. In its core, you can see this movie as a revenge flick but the way the story is progressing and things keep on evolving make it obvious the story is supposed to be about something deeper and more complex as well. It's pretty obvious to me that director Nicolas Winding Refn was trying to do and say all kinds of different things with its story, characters and metaphors and I'm sure it all worked out fine in his own mind but while watching this movie it's quite hard to tell how you should interpret certain things at times.

Maybe it would have been a more engaging movie to watch, if only it had a better pace to it. Yes, the movie is slow and really too slow for its own good, if you would ask me. Nothing against slower type of movies, as long is it's still providing you with something interesting. Personally, this movie was providing me with too few interesting thing, also since the characters themselves weren't all that interesting to watch and follow around.

It's hard to really care of feel for any of the characters in this movie. Perhaps it was all intentional, it certainly seemed that way but fact is that it just doesn't make this the movie the most pleasant or easiest one to watch. I'm even somewhat reluctant to call Ryan Gosling character the main protagonist of the movie. He never shows any emotions, he hardly talks and is the story really all about his character? Far from it, in my opinion but perhaps I was missing something.

But on the other hand, the movie at the same time still managed to impress me at times and I also certainly still enjoyed the overall experience, which may sound strange after all my criticism. From a more film-making viewpoint, it's sill an absolutely interesting and technically well made movie in my opinion. When the movie works, it really works and there luckily are still plenty of moments when the movie really works out like that!

Despite not featuring a truly engaging story, I still was mostly captivated by the movie. I was always interested in trying to find out what was going to happen next and its approach also made sure this movie never became a predictable one. I only did wish that the characters and story had some more actual substance to latch onto as well.

It's hard to recommend this movie, since it's most likely that most people aren't going to like it, even while it truly is far from a bad movie in my opinion. Those who are open to 'different' cinema and way of film-making should still be able to appreciate and like this movie, on at least some levels though.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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