DVD Review – The Brothers Bloom

Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener), Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist), Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac), and Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) star in The Brothers Bloom, a globe-trotting comedy about the last great adventure of the world’s two best con men.

Welcome to the world of The Brothers Bloom, where deception is an art and nothing is as it seems. The brothers have perfected their craft through years of fraternal teamwork. Now they’ve decided to take on one last spectacular job – luring a beautiful and eccentric heiress into an elaborate plot that takes them around the world.
For as long as they can remember, the Brothers Bloom have had only each other to depend on. From their childhood in a long series of gloomy foster homes to their highflying lives as international con artists, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) have shared everything. Stephen brilliantly concocts intricate stories that the brothers live out, but he’s still searching for the perfect con, the one where “everyone gets what they want.” Meanwhile, Bloom yearns for “an unwritten life” – a real adventure, one not dreamed up by his older brother.

Eager to retire, Bloom agrees to take part in one last grand scam. He insinuates himself into the life of Penelope (Rachel Weisz), a bored, single New Jersey heiress. When a genuine romance begins to blossom between them, he is reluctant to exploit her naiveté, but Penelope has already taken the bait: She impulsively joins Bloom, Stephen and their “associate,” a sexy Japanese explosives expert named Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi), on an ocean liner to Greece. Penelope is convinced she’s happened upon the adventure of a lifetime and offers to bankroll a million dollar deal. As the quartet makes its way from Athens to Prague to Mexico to St. Petersburg, Penelope quickly becomes addicted to the illicit thrills. But as Stephen’s elaborate web of deceit pulls tighter, Bloom begins to wonder if his brother has devised the most dangerous con of his life.

One of the reasons I wanted to watch The Brother’s Bloom is that when I saw the trailers it felt like the film was going to be in the traditional of the old Hope and Crosby road films with two con men having adventures across the world, while arguing with each other and fighting for the affection of Dorothy Lamour or in this case Rachel Weisz.

To try to pick a genre that the Brother Bloom fits into is difficult as it’s seems to flit between drama comedy,fantasy and pantomime at will. It has a style all of its own that even makes it difficult to gauge what time period the fim is set in.

The film is inventive, well shot, with sets and stunning locations that give the film a fairly tale quality as it takes the viewer step by step through the intricate con as played out by the Bloom brothers upon their latest mark Penelope, a rich heiress played by Weisz. My problem is that I really wasn’t that interested in the plot and the characters, while engaging in their own way, kinda left me a cold. Even though Ruffalo and Brody get the lion share of the script I didn’t really buy them as these slick, best of the best, con artists and to be honest Brody bored me most of the time with his constant whining to get out of the grifters life. It’s the leading ladies in the form of Weisz and Rinko Kikuchi who were my only bright spots in this otherwise deary and overlong(or it least it felt overlong while I was watching it) tale.

Weiss as the hapless Peneople seems to be having loads of fun with the role and it’s difficult not to get swept along by her spirited and engaging performance. In fact she’s so damn sweet and innocent that I spent most of the film hating The Blooms and how they were just stringing her along. However Weisz and the boys are outshone by Rinko Kikuchi who steals every scene she’s in as the self imposed mute with a taste for explosives. Just watching her either react to what’s going on around her or the different ways she communicates without using words bring the most fun to the film. It’s a good bet there’s not going to be a sequel but if there was I’d love to see it just starring Weisz and Kikuchi as con women as that would be one fun film.

One of the other problems with the film was that after a while the whole ‘this is yet another con within a con’ became confusing and a little repetitive. I found myself wishing that they would pull off the con and ride off into the sunset an hour before the film actually ended.

Although I didn’t enjoy the film it does have a quirky charm and an artsy appeal who some may be drawn to and enjoy. However for me the only con that I felt this film pulled off was to get me to watch it to the end in the hope it would get better.

GS Reviewer: Nuge

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: