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Tuesday, July 30, 2013


The actors kept it real and so did the director. (Review by Pranesh Maharaj)

Appearing on last week’s Durban International Film Festival is The Place Beyond the Pines directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes.

This is a great story and, taking advantage of the genre, the director chose to drag shots unnecessarily. One can easily remove at least 20 minutes of this film without it affecting a single line from the script. You might have to sacrifice some of the background score; but you will end up with a sleek movie. 

It was well shot and very well acted out. I might want to have a word with the DOP and ask him to read the script but maybe they had a plan that didn’t quite work out. Or, they became too attached to the shots and just couldn’t let go. The journey, albeit a great one, was far too long. I would still recommend this movie, though. I eagerly awaited my viewing of this one and wasn’t as disappointed as I might sound for technical reasons. The actors kept it real and so did the director. So, hats off for that.

A lot of value and emphasis was placed on the common man. The man who can fight but also die, the man who can conquer but also cry and the sons who are inevitably an extension of their fathers. It’s a compelling story that forces you to look at your own life and the decisions that you make on a daily basis. Ryan Gosling’s character sets the pace and I kind of wanted the movie to continue in that, if not, for it to pace up a bit each time we explored new threads to the story.

Calling it a mere drama will not suffice. It is inevitably an action drama and the producers and director should have treated it that way from development stages. It comes with an FPB rating of 16 and if your son is of age then take him along to watch this. It will put a lot of things together for him. The Place Beyond the Pines consists of real people who real people can relate to. There is no hero in a cape and the winner in the end is the decisions we choose to make.

More information on the Durban International Film Festival can be found on or by calling 031 260 2506. – Pranesh Maharaj