”) The role is less woman-hating than mother-loathing.
Even as their shadows fall across these walls, the characters are not supermen; they’re humans reduced to chiaroscuro.
Characterization is even more minimal: Julian speaks only a fistful of phrases, his features impassive without growing tense; the cop circles his victims with a thousand-yard stare like a man who has never known mercy or offered it; Kristin Scott Thomas… Refn has identified her mama Machiavelli as a mingling of Lady Macbeth and Donatella Versace, and that’s just getting started.
The victim’s brother, Julian (Ryan Gosling), running a boxing gym, but likely other criminal endeavors, and on the run from an at-first unspecified crime, notifies their mother (Kristen Scott Thomas), who comes to collect the body.
Action piles upon reaction in a virulent way until a gorily climactic punishment of a secondary character after the fashion of primal Greek drama, overseen by a reproduction of a statue of David from antiquity, tiny penis and all.