Movie: The Place Beyond The Pines

By admin
24 July 2013

We take a look at this week's movie review from Leon van Nierop.

Drama. With Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes. Director: Derek Cianfrance. 16LVD. Opens 26 July.

This quirky tour de force loaded with dark secrets, furious frustrations and emotional outbursts is an acquired taste. You’ll either agree with the three stars I’ve given the movie or, as with Silver Linings Playbook, run from the cinema, angry and confused. You have to be in the right – cynical – mood for this and be able to appreciate film-making techniques that push thematic and technical envelopes. And agree that Ryan Gosling is a phenomenal actor. This long, difficult movie starts off with a motorcycle stunt driver learning he’s the father of a baby. He starts robbing banks to support the kid, until an aggressive cop (Bradley Cooper) gets on his tail. Then the action flashes forward to “years later” – which costs it its fourth star, because here the story becomes too far-fetched. But the first 90 minutes is stylish, cool-with-attitude and insightful. The film explores the mind of a psychopath and in a cinematic way sweeps the audience along, only to leave them horribly disillusioned. Then the director kicks any sense of justice into orbit with a wild twist in the script, and unfortunately loses the plot. This crazy experiment in style, storytelling techniques and cinematography that gets behind the characters’ masks is for seasoned film fundis only. Do you have the guts to watch it?

- LEON VAN NIEROP

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