This dark tale of 2014 is the first work of Ryan Gosling as a director. It follows the fate of a mother and her two children, who live in a ruined Detroit. The film has a fantastic shape since the light and the scenery are both mystical. The result is a formidable aesthetic, entrusted to DOP Benoît Debie, best known for his work with Gaspard Noé.
Through a fairly evasive scenario, the film takes us into the deserted streets of Detroit where in some way nature has reasserted itself. The few characters that populate the film are lost in the forgotten scenery, where there are only remaining traces of those who left: “I’m not leaving, I am going to live.”
The action starts on daytime to finish at nighttime, revealed through images where hypnotic and supernatural lights plunge us into a spooky atmosphere between dream and nightmare. The red glow dominates the colors, alternating with shades of blue and purple. They point to the lights of the film “Only God Forgives” in which Gosling was the main character. The strange atmosphere also evokes the aesthetics of David Lynch, particularly with scenes of macabre performances in the cabaret.
You’ll understand that this film is a UFO that takes us into spooky sceneries with contemplative framings. In these timeless places, nature gives human construction remains a fantastic appearance. Also, the old road covered by the water of an artificial lake leaves only the top of streetlights surface, representing the tip of the mysterious world that’s submerged. Time has stopped as, like the house of the neighboring home to a grandmother frozen in mourning.