Brick (2005) – Review

Without giving too much away in Rian Johnson’s low-budget, noir-rooted independent film, Brick tells of Brendon Fry (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a high school student who receives a mysterious note in his locker followed by a brief phone call from his ex-girlfriend, Emily, (Emilie de Ravin). Her voice is anxious and frightened as she pleas for Brendon’s help. Her words are rapid—nigh incoherent—as she mentions “brick”, “pin”, and “tug”. After an abrupt hang-up, with the help from his friend known simply as “The Brain” (Matt O’Leary), Brendon must uncover the meaning to each of those three words if he is to cast a light upon the shadows of Emily’s fears and save her from what could become of them.

Brick‘s strongest aspect is its dialogue. It carries a sharp edge about it and because of its consist outting through each character, creates a believable environment for them. For if its dialogue were any different the chracters would mirror that of the mundane. The dialogue as well embellishes upon the magnificent narrative, bringing in vitality and weight a detective story not unlike those of Dashiell Hammett.

Much like the film’s dialogue, Brick‘s cinematography adds a rich, seamless enveloping to the picture while the special effects here were all created effectively through in-camera effects. For what it is worth, all of this is remarkably practical when considering the film’s budget of but a mere $450,000. Let me not forget to mention that rather than the usual three month shooting period, Brick was shot in twenty days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With its smart dialogue and sharp wit, Rian Johnson’s novella turned screenplay is a delicacy waiting to be digested. The end result is simple, effective film-making at its finest with a brilliant mind at its centre telling a symphonic tale of tragedy as only a true storyteller can.

9/10

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