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The Place Beyond the Pines – 28/05/2013 @ The Cube, Bristol

May 31, 2013

Contains Spoilers


Following ‘Blue Valentine’, a film which deals with the dilemna of a child either growing up with in a broken home or in a loveless relationship, Derek Cianfrance crafts a film dealing with a Father’s actions, whether motivated by desperation or ambition, can have a negative affect on the next generation.

The film is divided into 3 parts. The first part deals with Luke (Ryan Gosling) a lone and mysterious stunt biker who discovers he has a son from a previous relationship he had with Romina (Eva Mendes). Without a job or any real prospects, Luke desperately wants to provide for and be part of his childs life to make up for his own fathers absence, and so resorts to robbing banks. Inevitably, this gets into trouble by the police and is eventually shot by Avery, an ambitious cop.

This leads us to the second act which focuses on Avery and his guilt after finding out he has deprived a child of his father (he has a child the same age), and despite his passion for being a cop, becomes disillusioned because of the corruption. His father, a successful politician, helps Avery when it comes to the point that the people on the force want to kill him. Avery starts following his father’s footsteps and wants to impress him. The third part is 15 years later when the sons of Avery and Luke are teenagers and how their lives are affected by their fathers actions.

The film was well crafted and although it moves through the stories at a quick pace, I still felt there was enough information and characters which you care about. Ryan Gosling continues to impress and Eva Mendes does well as the mostly upset and desperate mother Romina. The man who steals the show is Bradley Cooper, putting in his best performance as the conficted Avery. Although he is a man who accepts awards for shooting Luke and having friends on his force arrested to have a succesful carrier, he is a man who always feels guilt and really tries to provide a good life for his son. But despite his best efforts, like Luke, he fails miserably. The cycle of generations trying to make things right with their spawn only creates another generation of new insecurities. While the point was made very clearly, I felt it was too laboured. There were too many situations where certain characters had to conveniantly meet together by coincidence for some kind of drama or tension to unfold. This was a shame as I felt the movie could have been better if it was a bit more restrained. The point was made in some reviews that I read that the film needs to be looked at like a classic tragedy, hence the 3 acts. With that in mind, those aforementioned aspects still bothered me.


From → Film Review

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