Synopsis: Meet the Brothers Bloom, the greatest con men in the world. They weave stories around their marks that leave them believing the con is the truth. Planning their final con, they choose a wealthy and highly eccentric heiress. This final âjobâ will take them around the world on an adventure, showing her the time of her life, and dabbling in some romance along the way.
Release Date: December 19, 2008 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Overall, the film is a delight to watch. It is funny, romantic, exciting, and engrossing. All of the elements work together with such ease that you truly do escape into the world of the Brothers Bloom.
As a whole, the screenplay is very well written. It has moments where you get a bit confused as to what is a con and what is reality but essentially that is part of the story. If you just hold on a while all will be answered. What is great about this screenplay is the weaving of physical comedy and dialogue. Along with the subtle humor it relays. The jokes in this film are not outright and blunt, they are subtle and smart. Comedy is portrayed as what happens between character’s on screen, not just by what the character says at a particular moment. Each character is given a well defined arc and dialogue that is suited to their personality. Each one is very distinct and direct, and as an audience member you can easily relate to any of them in one way or another.
There may not be very many explosions but the ones that exist are done exceptionally well. They are not excessive or present for the mere spectacle of having something blow up. The presence actually plays into the humor of the film, making a special effect explosion funny and look incredibly realistic.
Even as every character is played wonderfully two stand out the most, and they just happen to be the women. Rachel Weisz as Penelope Stamp is delightful. The character calls for a quirkiness that could have come across as over the top and annoying but Rachel makes this character an absolute gem. You laugh and cry with her, you feel her pain over her childhood and the loneliness but in the end you just want to know her, to spend some time learning more about her, and ultimately making her your friend. The comedic timing she delivers is perfect and she reacts incredibly well to the action sequences and fast paced movements of her character. One cannot fail to mention of course the physical comedy. She is absolutely hilarious. This character is anything but graceful but through Rachel she is no klutz, just not as smooth as another.
Rinko Kikuchi’s performance as Bang Bang stands out as well. As a deaf explosives specialist she uses her gestures and facial expressions to convey exactly what she is thinking, feeling, or disapproving of at any given moment. The looks she gives when an explosion goes awry or during a trial run with a doll are hilarious. She is absolutely priceless.
This film is undeniably visually dynamic. Shot after shot the screen comes alive with brilliant color; greens and pinks, reds, and so on, dance in your eyes. The lighting and colors play with the tone of the film perfectly, it is lighthearted and full of charisma. There are sweeping wide shots of the various locales and deep focus used throughout to give the audience a feel for the entire surroundings, as the locations play an integral character in the film.
There are downsides to the actual camera movement. Many of the pans and tilts lack continual focus, which can make you disoriented for a brief moment. They appear choppy and blurry, and do not find there end point with precision. This also occurs when the camera moves from close ups to medium shots or wides. These moments are brief and may go unnoticed but are present.
Score and Soundtrack
The music in the film is infectious. From the score to the soundtrack you are drawn in and find yourself either singing along or tapping your feet to the beat. It is continually playful, eccentric and upbeat while being timed perfectly with the action on screen and character emotion. The music finds its own place in scenes, not as mere background filler, but as a means to portray an emotion or state of being for the character(s). This use is extremely powerful and keeps you engrossed in the film as a whole and ready for any spontaneous action on its part.
Throughout the entire film the direction is excellent. The characters movements on screen, the way the locations are used, the timing of the dialogue, the movement between scenes, they are all perfectly played out along with a consistent tone and feel for the story. At no time do you feel the film has lost its way, it is a smooth ride all the way to the end.
All four of the main characters work together with such ease and care that you would believe they have played these characters their entire lives. Penelope and Bloom are great together. They complement each other in a way that they play off one another, with her quirkiness and naivete and his uptight, all work and no play attitude. The same goes for Stephen and Bang Bang. Although there relationship is not romantic they relate to each other like an old couple. Knowing what the other is thinking or what they want without ever having to say a single word. Even Bloom and Stephen are great together as brothers who do not always agree on what to do next or how the con should play out. Theirs is a playful tug of war over what is right and what is wrong, and which brother will have the final word.
The locations in this film may assist with the production design quite a bit but the extra work is seen in the details. Everything has style, color, and detail. The costumes are extremely character specific and feel as if they are out of another era but somehow smoothly fit into the present day. This gives the film a dimension of fantasy while rooting itself in the present. Even the crown moldings and chairs pop off the screen and beg to be seen for their decadence. It is a remarkable palette for the crew to work upon that has been created and for the story to unfold.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Rian Johnson
- Producer(s): Rian JohnsonRachel Weisz (Penelope Stamp)
- Screenwriter(s): Adrien Brody (Bloom)Mark Ruffalo (Stephen)Rinko Kikuchi (Bang Bang)
- Story: Robbie Coltrane (The Curator)
- Cast: Nora Zehetner (Rose) Gabriel WryeSteve YedlinJim Clay
- Editor(s): Beatrix Aruna Pasztor
- Cinematographer: Nathan Johnson
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA