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If like us, you're not a fan of sitting in on a Saturday night and watching another terrible episode of Casualty, but sometimes get the whole 'Can't really be bothered to venture further than the kitchen tonight' kind of vibe, then you're going to need a Saturday night rescue.

Take a leaf out of our book, and raid the best local place that sells DVD's (they're a rarity nowadays) to get your hands on 'The Place Beyond The Pines'. Want to know why? Then read on, and find out what you missed out on at the cinema...

Directed and written by Derek Cianfrance, the mind behind the critically acclaimed film 'Blue Valentine', The Place Beyond The Pines tells a harrowing story of fathers, sons, and how consequences can echo throughout time.

Following the fortunes of motorcycle stunt rider Luke Glanton, played by Ryan Gosling, and Policeman Avery Cross, played by Bradley Cooper, The Place Beyond The Pines blends the worlds of two very different lives, and displays how the actions of the two men can drastically change the lives of everyone around them.

The film is unique in the sense of the way it is delivered- it can be segregated into three very distinctive sections, all telling their own story, influenced from the one that came before it.

Working with a travelling circus, Luke returns to a town a year from his first visit. He discovers that a fling he had with Romina, played by Eva Mendes had made him a father for the first time. Luke quits the circus and chooses to try and be part of his son's life.

Cue Luke's scramble to provide for his new found family-using the only skill he knows; riding bikes, to rob banks.

Inevitably (and sadly we might add), the law catches up with Luke, coming in the form of Avery. The story then shifts, and turns to Avery dealing with the consequences of his actions against Luke, and his struggle to get justice in a corrupt Police department.

Finally, the last part of the film sees the sons of the two men, and how their father's actions have slowly overlapped into their lives, with devastating and dramatic results.

The Place Beyond The Pines is breathless, rapid and pumps adrenaline. It keeps you guessing, following a path you never even considered. The way in which it interweaves the lives of so many key characters and binds them under a common story is something that could set this film as a cult classic, and something that no DVD collection should be without.

Gosling portrays the perfect vision of a tortured soul, grappling with his emotions as he attempts to do right by his new found son- where as Avery is the image of solitude and regret, which Cooper manages to portray through the lifetime of the character.

The time you spend with these characters is short- but the submersion into the plot is almost unrivaled-we can't remember a film that gripped us with such excitement, and sorrow in a few short hours.


Ryan J Gray


Masdings Reviews

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