The Brothers Bloom Review

Don’t let yourself be fooled; this movie is more than meets the eye. The director,  (Rian Johnson), may be considered “unpracticed,” by Hollywood’s elite, but his latest 2009 release: “The Brothers Bloom,” was a proper movie. This adventure drama has got it all. Big movie stars such as Rachel Weisz (Penelope Stamp), Adrien Brody (Bloom), and Mark Ruffalo (Stephen), great locations being filmed, good directing, the camerawork awed me at times, the sound was perfect, and the plot was the bow that tied it all together.

The story itself is hard to explain without ruining details and experiences that it gives you. The ups and downs of the plot sort of tickle the “movie” part of your brain, its quite interesting. The story begins with a short description and depiction of the childhood of Bloom and Stephen and how they where bumped around family to family. Stephen was a mastermind when it came to cons and developed them with a passion. As he grew older they became more and more intricate, like stories with character arches, rising actions. etc. Bloom was always involved in a wing-man kind of role, but was never taken advantage of by his “loving” brother, (ooh made you think there huh?). That is how the rest of the movie pans out. It depicts the last and greatest con that Stephen had planned; their grand finale if you will. Bloom had enough of the lifestyle and wanted out, but had promised his brother he’d participate in this one last con. Along with their other team member, the quiet and mysterious Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi), the team decides that swindling an eccentric millionaire heiress, (Penelope Stamp), would be a good last con. The whole rest of the movie makes you think, “Is this really what’s going on?” You are never sure. And the schemes that unfold from this preface become truly devious to your senses.

The brilliantly crafted plot keeps the audience on the edge of the seat at times, and totally relaxed at other times, like some sort of cardiac exercise. It truly is a drama. In a way the plot itself is a depiction of the life and mindset of Bloom, who is struggling to understand whether he really feels how he feels or is he is feeling this way to continue to con his “mark,” (target). It is even explicitly stated by his brother at one point, that Bloom has been doing this for so long he cannot be sure if there is even a difference between his con act or his real feelings. The plot not only evokes themes, but also oozes an enthralling intensity that keeps you keenly staring into the screen. I did not deviate from watching the movie even once while it was playing, which is pretty hard to do for certain duller movies. When a movie captivates you like this from the first ten minutes, you know what you’re watching is a good proper movie, and I believe the vigorously woven plot for this movie was its nuts and bolts.

Acting is a crucial part of this movie, because after all it is a drama. Dramas need to have the ability to play with your emotions like they’re a game of twister, and The Brothers Bloom succeeds in the dramatic department. When you put together Oscar-award winning Rachel Weisz and Adrien Brody, (who have both won statues for their role in dramatic films: The Constant Gardener and The Pianist respectively), you are going to make a very dynamic movie. This film really shows us Adrien Brody’s talent, as we see him torn many times between difficult life choices he must make. His love and dedication to his brother and his work, and his new affection for their mark, Penelope, is becoming too much for him to bear and it tears him apart until the dramatic conclusion at the end of the movie, where his decision is made and there is no turning back. The Brothers Bloom will make average moviegoers truly begin to appreciate quality acting.

The quality of this movie compared to other cheesy, predictable con artist-based movies is off the charts. This movie does not pretend its a comedy, even though there are moments of comic relief. It does not attempt to be a thriller, even though certain scenes will get your blood pumping. The great part about this movie is that it is not impossible to understand. The only criticism I would have about this movie is one of the reasons I’ve praised it. Its intricacy can be slightly overwhelming for an audience member who is not mentally prepared to see this movie. If you are expecting this movie to cheer you up, or help you get over a break-up, or make you laugh you head off, this is not the movie for you! Before you see this movie remove all previous opinions that you may have about the director or the cast. Wipe the slate clean. Get down to the root of why you like to watch movies and think about it for a second: you want a good story that will entertain you till the end, just as people wanted 100 years ago and even 400 years ago in Shakespeare’s day and age. This movie, if approached with the right attitude has the potential to make most if not all of its viewers enjoy it. I would recommend this movie to my friends; I’d even stretch a bit and put it on a watch-list for the Oscars coming up March 7, 2010.