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THE BROTHERS BLOOM, 2008
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THE BROTHERS BLOOM,   MOVIE POSTERTHE BROTHERS BLOOM, 2008
Movie Reviews

Directed by Rian Johnson
Starring: Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinku Kikuchi, Robbie Coltrane, Maximilian Schell
Review by Nina Katungi


SYNOPSIS:

Stephen and younger brother Bloom have been con-artists for their entire lives. Stephen has always been the mastermind behind the cons while Bloom takes the lead role in the act. Bloom has had enough and wants out of the con-business. Stephen asks him to play along to one last con but of course this last heist of theirs doesn’t quite turn out like the others.

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REVIEW:

This is Rian Johnson’s second feature and a follow up to the very impressive “Brick”. I absolutely love “Brick” and couldn’t wait to see what Rian Johnson would do next. I must admit I didn’t want to get my hopes up especially after watching Richard Kelley’s second feature “Southland Tales” after his acclaimed “Donnie Darko”. I missed it at the cinema but I finally caught it on DVD and I’m happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It was yet another original piece, taking on a more light-hearted note than the dark film-noir (esque) “Brick”. It brings back the perfect tone to the classic heist/romance movies like “The Thomas Crown Affair”. Johnson manages to blend the modern with the classic, and in result he’s re-created the genre.

Stephen (Ruffalo) is the creator of all the heists. He writes the cons as if they were plays but uses the world as his stage and innocent bystanders as his actors. Stephen’s been doing this since he can remember. This is him. This is his life. Bloom (Brody) is Stephen’s younger brother. The two of them are each others only family. Bloom wasn’t really into all the scheming but didn’t have the heart to tell his brother and so he’s gone

along with it. Somewhere along the way a young Japanese lady (Kikuchi) joined the Bloom brothers. She soon became known as “Bang Bang” because of her knack of blowing things up. She makes loud noises with her explosions but never says a peep to anyone. It was though she was meant for a silent film but accidentally ended up in the “talkies”. She is absolutely distinctive in the film, very smartly placed by Johnson.

Bloom has now come to the point where he finally wants out. Stephen asks Bloom to help him on one last ruse, a ruse that involves the beautiful and extremely wealthy, Penelope Stamp (Weisz). Once Bloom finds out the hoax involves a woman he is quick to decline. Bloom has been in this situation before, where he fell for a girl that got caught up in one of their scams. Stephen convinces his brother to continue and Bloom does everything he can to stop himself from falling in love once again. This attempt of Bloom however fails and this turns out to be the rockiest rides for everyone.

Penelope ends up surprising them all by her skills and intelligence. The story turns out to be far more complex, to the point where nobody really knows who’s conning who. Bloom and Penelope share an obvious attraction. Bloom tries his best to keep his feelings to himself but eventually neither of them can contain themselves. A romance blossoms and this time it’s the real thing, they’re a match made in heaven and it shows. This romance reminds me of the classic romances that occurred in films like “Romancing and the Stone”. Johnson has found the distinctive gems from the classics and has brought them back in this film.

There is adventure, romance, and a lot of explosions all in the right places. There’s nothing more to ask for. Johnson seems to have a knack to maintaining his own personal style. It’s refreshing to see his original voice breakthrough in the film industry. We need more Rian Johnson’s in the industry because he knows how to create the perfect balance to a creative, entertaining, and meaningful film. I hope that he continues to make new innovative features. Believe me “The Brothers Bloom” is definitely worth a watch and if you haven’t seen “Brick” either then you are really missing out.

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