The Brothers Bloom, 2008.
Written and Directed by Rian Johnson.
Starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz and Rinko Kikuchi.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick), this film is about two brothers, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody), who are some of the best con men in the world. But Bloom wants out; he wants a life free from lies and deception. Stephen convinces him to embark in once last con, the chosen target a rich and beautiful woman named Penelope (Rachel Weisz).
It has been a long time since I have seen such a wonderfully written, directed and acted film. With the start of the summer blockbusters beginning this film was a refreshing and very enjoyable break and reminded me just how good a film can be when everything aligns.
The story follows two brothers, orphaned at a young age and shipped from home to home because of bad behaviour, discover their skills in deception and conning. As adults nothing has changed, they travel around the world performing cons with their assistant ‘Bang Bang’ (Rinko Kikuchi), but Bloom is growing tired of living a scripted and fake life, and wants to find something real. Stephen persuades him into one final big con to end on before retiring, the target of which is a wealthy and eccentric beautiful woman called Penelope (Rachel Weisz) who lives alone in a large estate collecting hobbies.
The con involves Bloom becoming close to Penelope and convincing her to join them on their adventures. They explain to her that they are smugglers, looking to steal a rare and valuable book which they can only accomplish with her help. By acting as though she has all the power and decision making, Penelope happily volunteers to use her money to help smuggle the book out from its location, unaware that she is being conned. However nothing ever goes as planned.
Rachel Weisz is if possible even more perfect than ever playing this charming and eccentric woman and you cannot help but love her, especially as her character begins to fall in love with both the lifestyle of a pretend smuggler and the attraction between Penelope and Bloom grows, unaware that everything she feels has been manipulated that way. The interactions between her character and Adrien Brody’s are brilliant, warming and incredibly funny to watch so that evening mundane car driving scenes are engaging. The brother relationship between Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody is fast-paced, witty and riveting as both brothers obviously care about each other but Bloom feeling constantly cautious about the possibility of being conned by Stephen. Considering she had next to no dialogue, Rinko Kikuchi is superb as explosions expert ‘Bang Bang’, the brothers’ literally silent partner and with just actions and a fetish for blowing things up you’ll love her character too. The smaller roles played by Robbie Coltrane as a Belgium smuggler and Maximilian Schell as a Russian set to exact revenge on the brothers were both fantastic in their absurdly hilarious characters.
It is hard to find many faults with this film, and at a stretch the only problem I can think to comment on is the ending, which feels as though it falls short in comparison with the rest of the film, and perhaps a hint of a conspiracy twist at the end might have been more in tone with the film. Nonetheless The Brothers Bloom is a near perfect film which should not be missed just because of the lack of advertising against competitors like Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2. I cannot recommend this film enough, so find out where it’s showing near you, and go and watch it instantly.