Older teenagers and adults (not for kids)
PG-13 for violence, some sensuality and brief strong language.
Comedy, Action/Adventure, Romance and Crime/Gangster
May 15, 2009 (limited);
Wide release: May 29, 2009
Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rinko Kikuchi, Maximilian Schell, and Robbie Coltrane
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The Brothers Bloom: Watch Your Wallet!
- The Brothers Bloom is a well-made comedy that keeps viewers guessing with multiple plot twists and deep characterizations.
Brothers Steven and Bloom are orphans who grow up on the streets learning to live by their wits and to con people out of money based on an innate understanding of people. Steven is the mastermind who creates the cons, down to the dialogue. Bloom is the lead con man who establishes the relationship with the “mark.”
When they attempt one last con, Bloom falls in love with the mark, an eccentric heiress, Penelope. Add in their bitter ex-mentor seeking revenge and the plot moves quickly, taking many unexpected twists and turns.
Bloom struggles with his own identity, since he spends his life saying and being the character that his controlling, yet likeable, brother creates for each of the cons. He sees in Penelope a chance to end the lies, but that may only be possible if he continues the con. Steven attempts to give up trying to “write” his and Bloom’s life, something that comes from being a protective big brother.
The script of The Brothers Bloom is terrific with rich, quirky characters that are unpredictable. The plot has many twists and it’s never clear if what the characters are doing is part of a charade or not. The directing is finely tuned with often humorous action happening in the background.
The art direction of sets, locations and wardrobe is very unique. Though set in present time, the whole movie has a “tip of the hat” to turn of the century fashion, manners and movies such as The Sting.
The cast is terrific with the character Bang Bang (played by Rink Kikuchi) stealing many scenes. Though her character likes to sing karaoke, she won’t speak otherwise. Rachel Weisz is amazing as the recluse heiress who starts out awkward and “comes alive” as she gets involved with the brothers.
Regrettably, The Brothers Bloom suffers from many content problems. The main issue is that the protagonists are con men and never regret nor have remorse about swindling money from wealthy people. They began their career in stealing and extortion at a young age, which is doubly problematic in that viewers see the young brothers extort money from an entire neighborhood. Ultimately, their life of crime does not pay for one of the brothers, however.
The Brothers Bloom also contains some foul language. One brother travels and lives with his girlfriend. Finally, there are two scenes of implied sex between the other brother and the heiress.
Because of these issues, The Brothers Bloom requires extreme caution before embracing these loveable characters who ultimately are bad guys.
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