Saturday 5 June 2010

Review:The Brothers Bloom

Year: 2008 (Yeah seriously, we only get it now)
Director: Rian Johnson
Screenplay: Rian Johnson
Starring: Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz

The plot is here

After two years of limbo (despite a London Film Festival showing) the brothers bloom has finally made it to cinemas. I had been waiting patiently with anticipation for Rian Johnson's second feature, as a big fan of his debut Brick. To sit down and get the chance to watch this on the big screen is much more satisfying than having to pick the film up at Asda due to a direct to DVD release which sometimes happens with those quirky little films.

Worth the wait? For the most part yes. The Brothers Bloom features great performances for it's leads, wonderful visual flourishes, some choice settings that give the film a lovely continental vibe and a score so pretty I picked it up as soon as the movie finished. But why was I not fully contented? What was missing from this film that would had me dancing in the isles? The answer for me maybe hidden deep within the story.

The first two thirds of the Brothers Bloom is a frothy romp. The lead characters and their quirks are entertaining, and the films moments of humor have more than enough sparkle. It's all very light and breezy, but unfortunately that slowly becomes an issue in terms of plot.

I enjoy the con movie, and one of the reasons is the con itself. Smug it may be but when you get told that Danny Ocean is going to rob three Vegas casino's your mind starts churning. What's going to happen? How are they going to do it? You begin to drool. When you dig the con, you dig the movie. Johnson's con for me isn't that interesting. In fact it feels too slight at times. It doesn't help that the third act begins to run out of stream and I predicted the outcome too easily before hand. It all becomes a little too cute and falls together far too easily. You don't get that rug pulled feel that a con film can give you. You always feel your too ahead of a game and that's not the best thing to feel in a confidence movie.

This doesn't destroy the whole film, as the larger then life performances of Weisz, Brody and Ruffalo kept me interested. Ruffalo in particular whose smile and knowing looks gives his character the perfect amount of control. He also provides some superb damage control at the films climax.

However, I think The Brothers Bloom is a second watch movie. A second viewing will probably have me avoiding the superficial and tapping into the pathos tender moments the film holds. The rapport that the larger than life characters have with each other, is worth the price of the ticket alone. There's also a brief shot of Weisz' pert ass for those inclined.

The Brothers Bloom isn't as assured and complete as Brick, it does however hold the same amount of ambition. It is of course the difficult second feature, but is bubbly enough for an arse like me to forgive it's flaws.