Friday, July 03, 2009

The Brothers Bloom

It's probably not a good sign when your entire movie is upstaged by a cat that appears onscreen for about ten seconds in the first scene. Either your movie has some serious flaws, or that is one fucking great cat.

Fortunately for The Brothers Bloom it is one fucking great cat. Unfortunately the rest of the movie doesn't quite live up to its promise. The Brothers Bloom begins as a wonderfully quirky comedy set in a world not too far removed from one you might see in a Wes Anderson movie. This is Rian Johnson's follow up to the billiant Brick, which if you haven't seen it, is one of the greatest debuts from a director/screenwriter in the last decade.

The Brothers Bloom is an entertaining film with some wonderful performances and set pieces. And like in Brick, Rian Johnson is fudging with genre as much as possible. Unfortunately this time around things get a bit more muddled. The genres don't blend as effortlessly here, so much as simply shift halfway through the film. Somewhere near the end you realize that things have gotten serious, and the playful whimsical tone from the film's start is sorely missed.

That being said, The Brothers Bloom is one of the most original and fun movies you're likely to see all year. It was horribly marketed, not surprising since it doesn't fit into an easily defined mold (which studios to this day do not know how to represent). There are some plot twists and turns, as movies about con men/women are wont to have, but Rian does a wonderful job with the slight-of-hand moments. The twists you know are coming are not really the twists.

It's a shame he wasn't able to carry the silliness of the first act through the entire movie, but it's a damn good first act. And the rest ain't too shabby.


Holly said...

Point of order, old chap: In Bruges wasn't Martin McDonagh's debut as either a writer or director for the screen.

Sharkbear said...

Oops! Fixed.
I don't get paid for this so I don't really find fact checking necessary.