30 July 2008

Brick (2005)

There are titles in my NetFlix queue that have been repeatedly pushed to the bottom as my viewing mood changes. One of those titles managed to float to the top and end up in my mailbox this week.

Brick is this week's movie and I almost didn't watch it after the first few minutes. I wasn't in the mood for a dark movie, but I'm glad that I stuck with it. This is a murder mystery set in a modern American high school. However, the dialogue is reminiscent of the noir films of the 1940s. The writer Rian Johnson said that he was influenced by Dashiell Hammett and it shows. I've always appreciated the slang from that era and it is done well in this film. There is just enough of it to make the movie sound different without it feeling gimmicky.

There is more than just the slang to set this movie apart. The way the girls and guys carry themselves is different than what you see in most teen movies. The characters talk and speak in a more deliberate manner. Even though this is a murder mystery, it isn't as graphic as some other movies within the genre, which is appropriate considering the inspiration.

I enjoyed this movie, but I'm not sure that I would recommend it to everyone. ABM didn't watch it with me, but I can imagine what he would say: "Why are they talking like that? This movie doesn't make any sense." Brick is heavy on atmosphere, but I didn't feel like everything was tied up with a neat little bow at the end. That made for an enjoyable viewing experience but not for all.
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