I’ve seen this film once before a few years back. While I wasn’t overly impressed by it at the time, it just felt like one of those films that would grow on you when you revisit it and re-explore some of the themes that the film offers. On top of that it’s directed by Ryan Gosling, who is probably my favorite actor going today.
The film is best described as a surreal fantasy that follows a mother and her son, who are being threatened by eviction and other forces and need to try to survive. She takes a shady job to get by and her son is caught in the midst of a bully (aptly named Bully) who is out to make his and his girl’s life hell. That was a terrible description, but it’s just hard to encapsulate the film in a summary since its more experiential, than a by the books films.
Gosling was definitely inspired by both Nicolas Winding Refn and David Lynch. I see more of Refn in it than anything, it’s surreal, high on style and colors, dreamy music, gore, and characters who are memorable. I will say I don’t think Gosling has truly mastered the scope of what he’s trying to accomplish as the film is quite light on the effectiveness of having delivered a meaningful plot. However, I really enjoyed the film regardless. I love films that are dark with neon colors, atmospheric cinematography, and one that dips into the macabre. This film offers all that.
I quite love the score of the film. I love the scene with Bones and Rat dancing in the abandoned building set to the dreamy and synth heavy music of The Chromatics (who is a Lynch favorite as we have seen on Twin Peaks this year). It’s a beautiful scene, as a matter of fact there is a lot of beauty in the scenes of this film. I’m optimistic about Gosling’s future in film, especially if he is emulating the best. This will be a love it or hate it type of movie and I’m on the positive side.