Why did Julian put his hands in his mother's stomach in "Only God Forgives"?

What does this scene mean?

  • I'm trying to make sure I understand, since I haven't actually seen this movie. Did his put his hand literally inside her stomach, or on her stomach?
    – DForck42
    Jul 22 '13 at 13:33

I was reading Only God Forgive's IMDb page the other day and stumbled upon this :

It was Ryan Gosling's idea to open the stomach of Julian's dead mother. He had it after director Nicolas Winding Refn asked him if he'd rather smile or cry after Julian's mom death. He replied that he'd open her uterus to see what's inside.

Remember that Julian killed his father with his bare hands (which he puts inside his mother) and that it is implied many times in the movie that the relationship Julian had with his mother was not the usual mother-son relationship. I think that all these elements and this scene show us how messed up Julian really is.


A few times it was hinted that there was a history of incest between the mother and her sons, so for Julian I think it was a weird, angry sexual thing. He also killed his father with his bare hands because of her, as a result he seems to hate them. I guess it might be a kind of "fuck you" to Kristin Scott Thomas; character as well.


I think also it's a reference to a dialogue happened before, when Crystal (the mother) told Julian that "they" asked her to abort. So it's like he's trying to do the job she refused in the past, because he hates himself, failed in his purposes and disappointed his mother.


Personally, I see it as Julian trying to find redemption, wipe the slate clean by returning to womb. Also given his deep yearning for a mother he is trying to return to that most intimate maternal bond when you were one.


Everyone forgets he was a drug dealer and thats another part of the reason she was there. She's the mule they're using to get the drugs back into the US. She was about to leave with the drugs inside her when the cops came to her house. He reached in her stomach to retrieve the dope.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .