Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Things have been quiet here lately. I've been really, really busy, and that's been paying off, but I haven't had a whole lot of time to read lately. I did, however, get around to watching Brick, the high school film noir from 2005. I had been putting off watching this film because, despite the praise it's received, it seemed like an idea that could easily go wrong. I sat down really wanting to like it, and the good news is I did. Going in I didn't know how putting noir style dialogue in the mouths of high school students would work out, but writer/director Rian Johnson made it work.

The film starts with a note slipped into a locker, which leads to a phone call, where the hero Brendan tells his ex-girlfriend it's been two-months when she opens the conversation by noting that it's been a long time since they'd seen each other. It's a great touch. In high school, two months is an eternity, and it works. The young actors all sell it, and when the movie has its ridiculous moments, like when Brendan and local drug dealer "The Kingpin" sit awkwardly and wait for the Kingpin's mom to leave the room so they can talk, the levity is intentional, and serves to underscore the fact that parents are often either completely oblivious to their teenagers' more adult proclivities or willingly turn a blind eye to them.

Overall this film hit pretty close to home in a lot of respects. I identified a lot with Brendan, a teenage loner who spends his time reading behind the school. I spent the last two years of high school sitting in the hall reading, and occasionally going to class, when I wasn't getting high. Speaking of which, Brick's depiction of a teenage drug underworld, while exaggerated, isn't that far off the mark. Overall, I think that's why the movie worked. It was rooted in reality.

1 comment:

Gonzalo B said...

It is indeed a very good movie. I haven't seen the director's second film, The Brothers Bloom, which I understand was released a few weeks ago. BTW, here you can read the Brick novella: