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The writer of Blue Valentine, a beautiful and poignant take on marital discord starring Ryan Gosling, brings to us The place Beyond the Pines. What starts as a small film mounted on a small scale, blows up into an affair fuelled by immense ambition, the end result being a thoroughly enjoyable and "different" hollywood film especially for the summer.
Themes of fatherhood, manhood, relationships, morals, loyalty and the conflicts there in are tackled in a story about two fathers and how they deal with their lives. Ryan plays a motor bike stunt man, who discovers of a love child taken under by another man. He decides to right his wrong of leaving the child fatherless, but doesnt have the money to enable his noble intent, He decides to rob a bank to take care of his finances. As we get used to his story, the screenplay shifts abruptly to Cooper, a young cop, who is tackling with his breaking marriage and his child, and with his desire to live up to his hard to please father. The two stories run almost parallely throughout, with no overt intentions to merge the two strands, leaving the connections and interpretations of the same to the audience. The few times when the tracks do meet end up in explosive scenes that are brilliantly conceptualised and written. The story drags a bit towards the climax, a leap of fifteen years and the story plots there in do not really make for convincing watch reminiding one of the lame time jumps our daily soaps do all the time. Yet, by this time, one is sufficiently wowed out to forgive the makers and enjoy the film nonetheless.
Ryan is fast prooving to be a wonderful performer, his turn here is vulnerable, steely, scared yet determined in intent at the same time. Cooper is brilliant as well, contrasting the similarities with Ryan's characters with elan in a very controlled performance. The real flmaboyance here is in the writing and the direction, stylish, laid back, full of panache yet complex and layered. Catch this one on the big screen, it is definitely worth a watch.