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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3. The Brothers Bloom - 2008 (USA)



Fans of odd characters, indie-style directing and random writing, eat your heart out. This 2008 indie movie is just plain fun, and couldn't have been better cast. In fact, Adrian Brody was working on Wes Anderson's Darjeeling Limited when he was offered the part of Bloom, so if you liked that, this movie should definitely be on your hit list. The direction and characterisations by writer/director Rian Johnson in this film and those of Anderson's style is uncanny, so with Brody paired against Mark Ruffalo as brother Stephen and Rachel Weisz thrown in as the wackily eclectic Penelope, you've got a winner in my books.

This movie has all the abrupt comedy of a Wes Anderson film - it's funny because it's so random, but to the characters it's everyday life, and you find yourself laughing at them while wishing your life was that interesting. Take the character of Penelope for example. A billionaire recluse who passes time by taking up every hobby known to man from harp playing to skateboarding, watermelon photography, card tricks and chainsaw juggling, she sets the tone for the movie itself as something of an eclectic mess, but all in a good way. The fashion is somewhat set in the 1940s (although the film is set in present time), with the brothers always wearing suits and hats, while the female characters flutter around in the most ridiculously inventive costumes that make you think you could walk down the street wearing Biggles' hat and goggles.

I'm tempted to give you a little outline of the plot, but I feel this movie is better watched with few expectations of the storyline. All you need to know is Bloom and Stephen make up the Brother's Bloom - con-men extraordinaire - perfectly executing their million dollar con on Penelope, until she turns out to be a totally loveable nut. At this point though, it's safe not to make any quick predictions, because this film has quite a few tricks up it's sleeve plot-wise, and I found myself feeling as though I'd been caught up in some dizzying magic trick with all the plot twists and table-turning that goes on in the climax. It's amazing really, the way this film flips on it's head to save you from guessing the end, right up to the last scene; it's like trying to remind yourself to watch the magician's hand to figure out how he does it, but falling helplessly into the magic of it all.

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