The lonely teenager Brendan finds his former girlfriend Emily dead in the entrance of a tunnel of sewage and recalls her phone call two days ago, when she said to him that she was in trouble. Brendan, who still loved Emily, met bad elements of his high-school trying to contact her, and when he succeeded, she told him that she was OK. He hides her body in the tunnel and decides to investigate the meaning and connection of four words, including "brick" and "pin", that Emily told him to find who killed her. Using the support of his nerd friend Brain, he successively meets the small time drug dealers Kara, Dode, Brad Bramish, Laura and Tugger, to reach the teenager powerful drug dealer The Pin. Slowly, Brendan unravels the motives why Emily was killed and plots a revenge. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The opening scene, with Brendan looking at Emily's body, is very deceptively shot. What appear to be POV shots of Emily's body are in fact something else. Director Rian Johnson says, "Brendan's eye-line never changes. We see him ostensibly looking at different details each time, but that's never cued by eye movement. Those inserts aren't from the angle at which he's viewing them. From where he is, her feet should be at the top of the frame; instead, they're at the bottom, shot from her other side. The other two shots are likewise reversed. You could call that an error, I suppose, but coupled with the fixed eye-line, what it suggests is that Brendan can't process what he's seeing. It's so unthinkable to him that he can only take in tiny portions at a time. He's abstracted the sight of her into objects. The images are technically 'wrong,' but that contributes to the scene's overwhelming sense of wrongness.I know that when I see something traumatic, I don't really process it in the moment, but I store it with an intense amount of detail and then watch the memory of it very carefully. Those disconnected, weirdly beautiful pieces of Emily are not what Brendan would see from his vantage point, but they feel like what he'd remember from the scene." See more »
The second time that Brendan and The Brain meet at The Brain's spot. As Brendan asks The Brain about the words that Emily spoke on the phone, two students walk behind them. A few moments later, the exact same pair of students walk behind Brendan, going in the same direction. See more »
The geography of film noir is usually a neighborhood, a city, a region ... BRICK transposes this geography onto a high school with surprisingly successful results. Watching it brought to mind not only the black & white films of the 40s and 50s, but glimmers of Gus van Sant, David Lynch and River's Edge. What gives BRICK its filmic authenticity (much different from realism) is its language -- the language of Chandler and Hammett, but re-imagined from the lips of contemporary teens.
The effect is staggering. BRICK essentially re-creates a world we thought we knew. Suddenly there are forces at work that we recognize because we knew they were there. But to see them in this noir glow is to give them an exciting new life ... "to see them again for the first time." There are plot twists and surprises aplenty here, although familiar once you realize the inspirations for the film. But familiarity is more than compensated by a superb cast and (not generally noted in these comments) excellent music. Contemporizing the soundtrack keeps us on our toes and makes a significant contribution to the tension of BRICK.
A terrific debut!
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