Monday, August 16, 2010

Have You Seen It? #1: Brick (2005)

Brick is a film that toys with its audience, it is a piece with deception at its core. Indeed, it is easy for the viewer to be mislead by the fast-talking, hard boiled surface that the film so readily presents. The dialogue throughout is determined and deliberate, not much is given away by the excessive slang and doublespeak that constitutes much of the dialogue. Yet, this surface of pastiche and parody hides beneath it an intense and poignant tale of love and loss, the story sees the protagonist, Brendon, transgress a number of emotional trials. These trials are presented as the various obstacles that Brendon must overcome to uncover the mystery behind his ex-girlfriend’s untimely death.The noir-ish nature of the dialogue and plot when set against the film’s suburban setting remind us that while the stakes are high, the core of the narrative is Brendon’s struggle to overcome his recent break-up with Emily. The film intentionally obscures this fact and in doing so illustrates the confusion that comes from times of great emotional trauma. Film noir so often leaves the viewer with an unsatisfactory ending, our expectations are undermined by a protagonist’s death or a mystery left unsolved. Any amount of ambiguity surrounding Brick’s ending should not leave the viewer frustrated, we have travelled with Brendon, and witnessed his trials. He is left in a tranquil state of meditative satisfaction at the film’s close, and while the plot may be unwieldy at times and the message behind the parody somewhat confusing, Brick gives us a view into the teenage thought process that is both intriguing and refreshing, not to mention, unforgettable. --Luke Maxwell

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