“If you drive like lightening you’re gonna crash like thunder!”
Directed and co written by Derek Cianfrance, ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ is based in Schenectady, an upstate New York town near the state capital of Albany. It unfolds over a 17 year period, and is a film in three carefully interlinked sections. It begins with the story of Luke Glanton, (played by Ryan Gosling). Luke earns his living on a motorbike as a stunt rider and is a bit of a drifter.
The film then shifts focus onto Avery Cross (played by Bradley Cooper), a policeman also based in Schenectady. Finally the focus is on the respective children of Luke and Avery.
It has been a while since I felt a film deserved to be described as groundbreaking, but I feel The Place beyond the Pines is groundbreaking for a number of reasons…… Firstly the way the story is constructed is excellent! Whilst I’m sure the format is not unique, it’s not something that you see often, and certainly not so well done.
Secondly the style of filming is uncompromising and adds a sense of realism that is almost unnerving at times. For long takes and hand held camera shots to work well, the film crew and the actors have to be of the highest quality and they definitely are in this film.
Thirdly as already mentioned, the actors are superb, in particular Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Dane DeHaan. A slight observation is that perhaps Gosling is in danger of getting ‘typecast’ as some elements of Luke’s character are similar to that of the character known as ‘Driver,’ he played in the film ‘Drive’. That said, he continues to play that kind of character very well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, certainly not a ‘popcorn flick’, but also not too overly complex that it loses the audience. I thought I’d figured out where it was going, but then it changed direction. It takes a moment to readjust, but it’s all part of the bigger picture. If you’re a film enthusiast, you must see this film!
See it if you liked: The Town, Drive