The Place Beyond the Pines | Movie review

Place Beyond the Pines movie poster malaysia

Release date in Malaysia: August 1st 2013
Distributor: GSC Movies (only available at select GSC Cinemas)
Studios: Hunting Lane Films, Pines Productions, Sidney Kimmel Ent., Silverwood Films
Rated: 18

Genre: Crime drama
Running Time: 141 minutes
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writers: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder 
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta and Rose Byrne

Synopsis: A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician.

Verdict: A dark, realistic, complex tale of guilt, integrity and consequences affecting generations. There’s no protagonist, no real villains, just how lives of some could turn out to be due to mistakes. The first act of the film is slow but develops well for the second but rushes a little in the third with an anti-climatic ending which is sort of disappointing. Strong performance all around by the cast except for Ryan Gosling who played his role here practically the same way he did for Drive (2011). The Place Beyond the Pines is not for everyone, but if you have the patience, you might find yourself with things to ponder over. No value for a second watch though.

Second opinion: “I fell asleep, what happens at the end?” (girlfriend).

Malaysian censorship: Didn’t watch it at the cinema (it’s released months ago elsewhere and is now available online) but I think there shouldn’t be anything cut. There are some F-bombs, boob-fondling (nipple covered by the hand) and the usual drug and alcohol abuse by American minors but most films distributed by GSC Movies usually get away without any censorship.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

[SPOILER SECTION BEGINS HERE]——————————————————————————————–

Understanding the point of the movie: In the first act, we see Luke (Ryan Gosling) tries to he win back the mother of his child, Romina (Eva Mendes), by robbing banks to get quick cash. It’s wrong but he’s free of guilt ’cause all he wants is to provide for Romina and their baby. One day he gets unnecessarily killed by a small-time police officer, Avery (Bradley Cooper), who then lies to everyone about who shot first. He also illegally takes the money Luke left for Romina and their baby. He tries to give some back but Romina rejects. Knowing that Luke is much like him, with a lover and son, he carries the guilt for the rest of his life no matter how well his career advanced. In the third act, the story focuses on the sons of Avery and Luke, who coincidentally made friends with each other. Presumably due to guilt and his busy job as the assistant district attorney, Avery is separated from his family and is never close to his son, AJ (Emory Cohen). Luke’s son, Jason (Dane DeHaan), on the other hand lives a humble life with Romina, his stepfather and half sister but is angry that they hide the truth about his real father. After finding out about Luke, he sets out to kill Avery but chooses to not to in the end when it’s clear that Avery has never forgotten about Luke. With Avery alive, AJ will still have a father. Jason leaves home, buys a motorbike and rides away alone, resembling his father, a full circle to the story, caused by the doings of the prior generation.

Third & final act issues: There’s no valid reason for Jason to be angry with his family or Avery. His stepfather seems to be nice to him and it’s understandable why his mum doesn’t wanna tell him about Luke. He doesn’t know that Avery’s the one who took the shot first so what gives him the right to want to kill Avery, who in everyone’s point of view, is a hero who did his job as a cop? And even if Luke didn’t die, he would’ve been in jail for a long time so he wouldn’t be there fathering him anyway. There’s nothing much about Luke that Jason can be proud of other than the fact that he’s a skilled biker who robbed banks for his son and his mum, which he probably didn’t need to in the first place. The only way to make sense of it is that the makers of this film feels that all American teenagers don’t make sense.

Nice death pose by Ryan Gosling:

Ryan Gosling as Luke Glaton falls to death scene, movie still of Place Beyond the Pines

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  1. Post

    @Henry It's a non-mainstream film, that's why. It's showing now at GSC International Screenings though.

    @Kelvin Yes I know, you don't have to always remind me that you'll prefer no brainer films.

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