Satisfaction is a hard thing to come by. In fact she is such a slippery mistress that even rock God Mick Jagger struggled to tame her. So it is a rare and wonderful treat then, when a film envelops us with that warm energising feeling which so often comes with fulfilment.
10. Only God Forgives – The cavity search
Yeah ok, so Only God Forgives was a tad different from the commercially sound, Drive. But that doesn’t mean it deserved all the hating that came its way upon release. If one is willing to submit to Refn’s grime splattered tale, there it is actually a really engaging experience. This truth is no more clear than in the moment when tortured soul Julian finally gets to stand up to his big bad mother, Crystal.
Finding her dead body propped upright, Gosling’s character eventually finds something useful to do with those pesky hands of his; he sticks them inside her newly sliced stomach. It is a pretty morbid affair, but after the whirlwind of bullying and abuse Crystal brings on her younger son, we cannot help but sympathise with Julian’s temptation to defile that wicked creäture.
Whether this moment comes from Julian’s muted obsession with violence, or some sort of maternal symbolism (the womb), or an opportunity to expose the ‘flesh’ beneath her stony exterior, or whatever Refn’s intent; this was a great moment in a genuinely original film. And it made us hail, “ding-dong, the Witch is dead!”