The Brothers Bloom
Review by Jack Foley
CON movies, by virtue of their elaborate storylines, have to work just that little bit harder to prevent audiences from feeling, well, cheated themselves.
Fortunately, Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom pulls it off, emerging as a slick, engaging and wonderfully offbeat venture that capitalises on the talents of its quality cast, as well as the writer-director’s determination to add an emotional under-current.
The film follows fraternal swindlers Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) as they seek to pull off one last con by luring the beautiful and eccentric Penelope (Rachel Weisz) into an elaborate plot.
Trouble is, Bloom – desperate to pursue “an unwritten life” away from Stephen’s meddling – falls in love with his mark, thereby jeopardising the final enterprise. Will brotherly love win over? Or is Stephen destined for the fall that a rival has predicted?
Just as he did with his hip debut Brick (which set a classic noir thriller within the confines of a high school), Johnson has fun toying with the conventions of the con movie genre.
The Brothers Bloom features some engaging offbeat comedy, some truly oddball characters and enough surprises to put plenty of admiring smiles on faces.
If the ending doesn’t quite deliver the emotional clout its director was seeking, it still doesn’t detract from what is an otherwise blooming great experience!
This is a con movie that stays with you and engages the brain as well as the heart, whilst also keeping you on your toes and upbeat throughout!
Johnson, meanwhile, continues to be one of the most innovative filmmakers of the moment.
Running time: 114mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: October 4, 2010
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Rian Johnson interview
- The Brothers Bloom Gallery