Monday, 29 April 2013

The Place Beyond The Pines - Synecdoche

I like the brooding, wild Ryan Gosling. That said, in The Place Beyond The Pines (dir. Derek Cianfrance), his character Luke, is chaotic. Incredibly physical, from the striding walk, the tattoos and ability to push his body and mind, while mounted on a motorbike, to the relationship with his son's mother. His emotional self is determined, his yearning to be a good father is painfully real and heartbreaking. When he discovers he has a son, Luke's new role becomes his purpose. But all of this doesn't necessarily work to make a happy family. Luke discovers that the route he follows in order to provide, becomes something that can only force him apart from his son. Too late.

The second chapter of the film focuses on the policeman, Bradley Cooper. Avery and Luke both hold a sort of intensity that makes you believe in them, to gun for them. It's in the gaze, in the furrowed brow and nonchalant expression, juxtaposed with the eyes. It's his quest to better the world, but meanwhile losing a relationship with his son. It's guilt, mixed with hope. 

The final chapter meets the two sons – Avery and Luke's – and comes with a sense of loss and fulfilment. Making for a film that provokes, saddens and most importantly, engages with a feeling that we can't ever control every aspect of our lives. That emotions can rule even the strongest of minds, and that the physical body rules above all and makes for our physical existence. So, switch this round: where we take our body, can free the mind and in turn, make our emotions even more visceral and real.

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