04 October 2006

Movie Review: Brick

Dubious of PK’s choice of movie, I was surprised when Brick turned out to be one the best movies I’ve seen this year. Which, I guess, I should have known. As a fan of independent films, ones that are story and character driven, they are usually thousands of times better than half the films the major studios produce, even the ones they save for Oscar season.

This debut film from writer and director by Rian Johnson, is a stylized and clever film noir, where the teenaged cast speak in the jargon of the classic black & white films of the 1940's.

Levitt-Gordon plays Brendan, a teen who is an outsider who wants to be just that, with his floppy hair and round glasses, that makes him look like a cross between Harry Potter and Jared Padalecki from TV’s Supernatural. When his ex-girl friend contacts him unexpectedly, sobbing about how she’s screwed up every thing, and then disappears he becomes consumed with finding her.

But to do it, he must submerge himself within the dangerous drug culture of southern California. He contacts The Brain, his one and only peer, who can get him information on socialite girls, a dangerous thug named Tugger, a girl named Kara and school’s quarterback Brad. In doing so, Brendan also comes into orbit of The Pin, a drug kingpin of the area.

When Lukas Haas turns up late in the film, as the baroque Pin (looking like Jonathan Frid from Dark Shadows fame) he steals the film.

At first, I found the florid dialogue a bit distracting, it reminded me of the updated Romeo and Juliet from a few years ago - set in present day, but using the Shakespearean talk. But after a while, the story sucked you in, along with Gordon-Levitt’s and Haas performances.

A winner of a film.

No comments: