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THE BROTHERS BLOOM (2008) – The Playful Con

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote]

From the opening shot, to hearing the narration, there is a sense of fun and lightheartedness to The Brothers Bloom. Rian Johnson’s tale of con-men starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz and Rinko Kikuchi.

The film is playful in its intentions, Stephen and Bloom use their plans of well-intention to pull off their idea of a perfect con where everyone gets exactly what they need.

The core cast is extraordinarily good as an ensemble. Mark Ruffalo pulls off the confident, loving older brother very well, Adrien Brody seems to be having fun being the guy who isn’t sure what the right thing is. Rachel Weisz is having the time of her life, a woman with childlike wonder, someone who has her own motivations and has the most wonderful smile.

A separate word has to be given to Rinko Kikuchi as Bang Bang, the near silent Japanese girl who works with the Brothers. She has an almost Keaton-esque comic timing and a face which tells everything, proof she doesn’t need to say a single word.

The main theme around The Brothers Bloom is an attempt to look at the stories that we are told and the roles that are written within. Each person has a place in a story, and those roles have a place in the construction that has been built.

Rian Johnson is deconstructing the stories we tell, and the stories we see. There is a manipulation that he pulls the curtain back on, we see the con unfold before us. This is very much like the movies.

He also looks to be attempting to question why people tell the stories they tell. Is it for love, is it to get money, is it just to hear someone say that “that is the greatest trick I have ever seen”?

The final sequence takes place in a run down, beaten up theater. The trick has finished, the con has been pulled off. But the camera looks back in a sense of loss, is it now a sad thing that the con is over? The stage is awaiting to be performed on.

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