Title: The Brothers Bloom
Language: English, French
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Director/Writer: Rian Johnson
Music: Nathan Johnson
Cinematography: Steve Yedlin
I watched Rian Johnson’s BRICK (2005) years ago and think it is a little bit overrated at that time, after watching this one, I feel quite satisfied with my judgement.
On the cover of the DVD it is written: A gorgeous, elaborate, beautifully shot, well-acted con movie of the highest order. I agree with most of it except the highest order part. In year 2008, what could we expect from a con man story? My only wishful thinking is that it would not be too banal. With Rian wrote his own script, maybe I am too harsh on it, however, I do love the first part of the film, then it arrived the worries, I was for fear that the bathos would come eventually.
Luckily the chemistry among four main characters are convincing, especially Rachel Weisz, she could literally light the screen and elevate a film (another excellent example is AGORA 2009) onto a new height by her performance alone. Adrien and Rinko are stereotyped (sensitive man and mute girl respectively), especially the former, I do feel sympathy for Adrien’s future career (PREDATORS 2010 is truly a great choice). As for Mark Ruffalo, I think he is a chameleon in Hollywood nowadays, and I wish he will take some evil roles, which will be very watchable with his innocent appearance.
I cannot say the script is corny but it’s just okay, the problem lies in the imbalance of comedy and drama, which creates some uneasiness in the latter part. The trick is when one gets used with pitfalls, like Bloom in the film and the audience, one gets tired easily and just lost interest in the final “dramatic” ending, like death is always the only way to solve every problem. Another problem is that the intentional omission of several important clues (i.e. the plan with diamond dog, how Penelope manage to steal the book, etc.).
The cinematography is the highlight of the film, which saved it from anything but a potboiler, clearly it is not a masterpiece, but since it is a product of Hollywood leitmotivs, I would say it is enjoyable to watch it (at least for the first hour) and one word to Mr. Johnson, it is easy for a person to act smart, but it is not easy for a film.