“If you ride like lightning, you’re going to crash like thunder” -Robin
The Place Beyond the Pines seemingly came out of nowhere. Due to the fact that it did not have much buzz, it stayed under the radar for most people. However, I am convinced that you’ve missed out on this hidden gem which is now streaming on Netflix.
The movies starts out with Luke’s (Ryan Gosling) ripped abs, playing with a switchblade. He’s preparing mentally for his day job: Stunt dirt bike rider at a carnival. As absurd as that sounds, the tone of the film stays low. You can’t help but to remain intrigued, but never overwhelmed. After performing in the ball of death, enters Romina (Eva Mendes), Luke’s love interest. Romina and Luke create this tension that borders toxic, but still stays in order. They’re quite literally perfect for each other, as if they were meant for each other. (This makes more sense when you find out that Gosling and Mendes have been together since 2011).
Director Derek Cianfrance demonstrates masterfully how to tell a complicated story over time. The film spans over a decade or so, following Luke and the life of his son and how Luke’s actions have impacted him. The first half of the film is incredible, but slowly dissolves as the plot changes and the tone shifts to Bradley Cooper’s character Avery. The movies eventually spills into a convoluted cop drama, but eventually bringing the film back to its roots by it’s conclusion. The first half of the film is by far some of the best work and the second act supports the plot and offers up a satisfying resolution.
Catch The Place Beyond the Pines on Netflix now.