Sins of the fathers

This is my review of The Place Beyond The Pines [DVD] [2013].

Luke, a young man whose only assets are good looks and skilful motorcycle stunt riding, finds that he has made a girlfriend pregnant. He is filled with an unexpected urge to care for his son, even if it means breaking the law to obtain enough money to persuade Romina to leave her current man.

Although you may think you are in for a cops and robbers tale which is bound to end in tragedy, the plot switches abruptly to a new theme about police corruption, centred on a fresh main character, Avery, the ambitious young officer who wants to combine police work with his legal qualifications to achieve high political office. Luke and Avery are opposites, one poor and disadvantaged, the other wealthy with influential connections. Yet both have a son of the same age, and ironically, in his pursuit of personal success, Avery may be the less caring, with what could be disastrous consequences. These are developed in the third part of the film, which moves on to include the next generation.

With a rambling and at times under-edited structure, the whole piece feels like watching three separate films played sequentially. Although I agree with those who have found it overlong, there are some moments of high tension. Some of the scenes seem very realistic and natural as well as moving, although the final section involving the teenage sons is less convincing. Overall, it is about the effects of class and fate, and a modern interpretation of the timeworn theme of how "the sins of the father are visited upon the son".

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Stars

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