The lives of two men from very different backgrounds collide, and when events take an unexpected yet unavoidable twist, many lives are changed forever.
Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a fairground motorcycle stuntman and racer, longing to rekindle his romance with former lover Romina (Eva Mendes) after discovering she has secretly given birth to his son whilst he was out of town. Luke wants to quit the carnival life in order to provide for his new family and get back into their lives, but has to go to extremes by committing a series of daylight bank robberies, aided by his extraordinary riding ability. The pressure is only heightened when he is put on a crash course with ambitious police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) who is looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption.
What I really liked about this film was that it was nothing like what I had expected it to be personally, yet it still ended up being absolutely fantastic. The storyline is so cleverly written, with each and every character’s life being intertwined so beautifully, and very easy to follow at the same time – which can be a very difficult thing to achieve – so well done to Derek Cianfrance who wrote the story as well as directed. What is also brilliant is the varying types of characters portrayed in the film. For instance, Gosling plays Luke who comes from a fairly disadvantaged background with only his mother to raise him. Whereas Cooper as Avery has to play a man who has grown up with his dad as his hero in a privileged atmosphere that allowed him to go to college and become a lawyer, only to decide to become a police officer.
However, what was probably the best feature of The Place Beyond The Pines was the underlying issue that told of how one mistake in your life can affect you and all those around you forever.
If I had to pick any faults with this film, it would be that both Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper were not in it for anywhere near long enough (but that is just mine, and possibly many other women’s point of view).
All performances throughout were epic. Gosling and Cooper are knockouts as their troubled characters, and an appearance from Ray Liotta as one of the corrupt officers sends shivers down your spine as he gives an insight as to what very often goes on within police forces. However, Dane DeHaan as Jason is absolutely fabulous. As a newcomer, you are always aware that he could make or break what had been a good film, but DeHaan turns what could’ve been a good film into a great film as a teen who has been misled about his childhood.
As I said before, Derek Cianfrance does a wonderful job of directing what will surely one day be one of the greats. His screen and story writing are very well done, but the that probably defines The Place Beyond The Pines is the soundtrack. Powerful tracks are used throughout the film and coney the atmosphere superbly.
All in all, this film is, quite simply, excellent. The music and directing is good. The storyline is great. But what ties this all together is the extraordinary performances of all the actors and actresses involved, and who all should feel very honoured to be able to add The Place Beyond The Pines to their CVs for they have created a piece of art.