Well, it’s that time of the week again, and if you’re in the mood to relax at home this weekend, why not take in one of my personal favorite movies? Brick, released in 2005, is billed as a neo-noir thriller and is directed by Rian Johnson, also responsible for Looper. Brick is unique in that it’s beautifully atmospheric direction and dark tone really serve to emphasize Johnson’s brutal depiction of day to day high school life.
Starring my one, true love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brick centers on the struggle of loner Brendan Frye as he seeks the truth behind the disappearance and consequent death of his ex-girlfriend. In his search for vengeance, Brendan becomes deeply embroiled in an underground narcotics operation as his quest takes him all the way to the top of the organization’s hierarchy and threatens to involve him an an all out gang war.
Brick is a beautiful film in terms of both visuals and narrative. Heavily influenced by noir films of a bygone era, the characters in Brick speak with a kind of shorthand slang (think a Shakespearean production of A Clockwork Orange) that is at once beautifully poetic and hauntingly brutal in its own right. JGL’s performance is outstanding as he portrays the pain of both the loss of his ex as well as the estrangement from larger society. Our sympathies can’t help but be stirred as Brendan refuses to give up his quest, even when his injuries make him essentially a mixture of powdered organs and thickened blood held together by sheer determination. Since it’s release, Brick has been hailed as a cult classic, and for good reason. Although the unique style and admittedly sometimes hard to follow dialogue may be off-putting for some viewers, the cinematic experience that you stand to gain in return is well worth it in the end.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5