The 1929 short film by Surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, Un chien andalou, is well known for one good reason: In a closeup, it shows a human eye sliced by a razor.
In Only God Forgives, the latest film by cult director Nicolas Winding Refn, this image is referenced – this time in color – at the climax of a scene that sees a man lose not only his eyes, but his ears, his arms and his legs as well, all in near-silence, except for the constant, piercing scream of the victim.
Despite a torrent of violence and most scenes bathed in deep red by either blood, red neon lights or both, Refn maintains a curious and alienating distance from his characters, which means we don’t much care for these individuals who are under constant threat of execution by the sadistic blade-wielding policeman Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm).
Chang is one of two enigmatic central figures responsible for the many sordid incidents of blood loss. The other is Julian, a big drug smuggler in the Bangkok underworld, played by Ryan Gosling.
Read the full review at The Prague Post.
(Still of Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives via imdb.com)