An unwritten life
The Brothers Bloom review
13th July 2012
The opening theme tune of this con man caper suggests a comedy, and there is a lot of humour (the one-legged cat, the whiskey drinking camel, the sugar jar etc etc), but it's so very much more - it's really about the symbiotic relationship between 2 siblings, Stephen and Bloom, in which Bloom has forever been in Stephen's shadow.
It starts with the brothers aged 10 and 13 being moved from foster home to foster home. Young Bloom is played by Zachary Gordon, who went on to star in the Wimpy Kid films. Bloom is slightly timid and Stephen devises a plan to make him popular, as well as getting them both some money. And so begins their first con.
Thereafter Stephen meticulously plans, writes & storyboards the cons, and for 25 years Bloom plays his part as the vulnerable anti hero (his own description of himself) but, at the age of 35, Bloom wants out so he can live his own life - an unwritten life. Stephen persuades Bloom to do the proverbial 'one last job' - a job which entails breaking their strict rule of never having women as their mark. Yet this time Stephen finds 33 year old multi-millionaire heiress Penelope & tells Bloom 'DON'T fall in love', but does he really mean 'DO fall in love'?
Adrien Brody (Bloom) is an unlikely candidate to play the leading man, after all with his long, thin face and - let's be frank - that nose, he doesn't have the looks for the romantic lead but he is such a great actor he can pull it off. His performance here shows why he is my favourite actor. Mark Ruffalo, another of my favourite actors, turns in a wonderfully sensitive portrayal as Stephen, while Maximilian Schell is excellent as the sinister Diamond Dog. Rinko Kikuchi, who was so very good in Babel and even better in Norwegian Wood, doesn't really get chance to shine here as Bang Bang the explosives expert. Apart from singing in the karaoke scene she only speaks 3 words in the whole film. Even Rachel Weisz, an overrated actress whom I don't normally like, is quite good.
This is the best film I've seen this year - don't miss it, and see the deleted scenes as well. They explain a lot. Incidentally it is not set in the 60s as one reviewer here seems to think - Bang Bang has a cell phone for goodness sake!