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One Year Anniversary!!! Movie of the Day – Brick

Posted on the 30 March 2012 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

It has been exactly one year to the day that I have started this blog.  I personally never thought that I would be able to post one item every day since the inception of this little adventure.  I started out the blog with my ode to one of my favorite films of all time, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a film that rests comfortably at the top of my favorite film list.  But while it was the first film that kicked off this little adventure, there was one film that I first posted on my Facebook account that pretty much started my daily Movie of the Day post.  Brick, a film that takes the time tested neo-noir, crime genre and give it a new coat of paint and a slick script to produce one of the most unique and memorable movies I have seen in a long time.  Brick to me is a film that will always be one of the best.  For some reason, when I first started posting a movie of the day on my facebook timeline, this was the first film to come to mind.  It’s a film that encapsulates the era of the crime genre and spins it enough to make it something all its own.  A world of intrigue and lies, built upon the grounds of a high school where the teens become the adults and the story takes on a life of its own.

One Year Anniversary!!!  Movie of the Day – Brick

A tough-talking teen attempts to uncover his ex-girlfriend’s killer in director Rian Johnson‘s hard-boiled high-school noir, told in the style of a Dashiell Hammett mystery. An outsider by nature, Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is forced to penetrate the elaborate ranks of the high-school social scene and its more insidious underbelly when the body of his former girlfriend Emily is found lying lifeless in a remote creek. Though the pair had been on the outs, Brendan can’t seem to shake the hysterical phone call that he received from Emily the day before her body was discovered, a call in which she rattled off a number of cryptic words: “brick,” “pin,” “tug,” “poor Frisco.” He’s determined to find the guilty party, and to do that he’ll need to uncover the meaning behind her enigmatic phone call. From the highest-ranking athlete to the lowest-level burnout, no one is above suspicion of leaving her in that creek or putting her in the position to end up there. Brendan’s skill for getting the right attention from the right people leads him to a local drug dealer of urban-legendary status (Lukas Haas), who walks with a cane and lives with his mother. As Brendan infiltrates the social and political web more deeply, his theory solidifies and each player’s role becomes clear, from the shifty-eyed pot slinger to an upper-crust innocent who may well be a femme fatale. Brendan may soon be ready to make his case, even if it’s too late for him to get out. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

A bit of a long synopsis, but needed as I would have gotten lost in all the twists, turns, and double speak that the film utilizes to craft one of the best crime films around.  It’s a bold statement to make I know, but if you have never seen this film, you are in for an incredible film.  The crime noir scene is a murky genre to get into.  Often the films create a world within a world from the way people talk, slang, and seemingly shifting the perspective of the narrative from one character to the next.  Brick is film in a league of its own, taking the seedy underbelly of crime and placing it in the confines of high school setting with young kids becoming the both the detectives and villains.  Each bringing to life a particular archetype of characterization from the info man to the double crossing dame.

One Year Anniversary!!!  Movie of the Day – Brick

Brick runs like a finely crafted pulp crime novel, where the scenes have a certain rhythm and cadence that match the unique, organic sounding music that is reminiscent of Phillip Glass ensembles.  Tonal sounds strike a harmonious chord with the actors punctuating their lines with almost this Shakespearean skill, taking the viewer out of the comfort of the typical high school setting.  The rhymes, slang and speech patterns set up a world that is difficult to understand.  The interactions of the characters seem foreign and distant as the hierarchy of high school politics and cliques seem to take on a different meaning.  Jocks are enforcers, the loner is the hero, the popular girl is the dame and older kids are the masterminds behind some of the crimes.  Each person, while a particularly familiar character in the noir world, seems to take on a life of their own.  Each one looking out for themselves while playing every one like a chess piece.  The gorgeous color palettes liven up the dark world of crime and frame it in a hue of blue and white, piercing through the dark subject matter of death and drugs.

I could go on and on about this film as Rian Johnson managed to take the hard-boiled noir stories of pulp comics and books and turn them into a film that seems like it was pulled right from the binding of a continuing noir serial.  It incorporates a stellar cast of young actors and actresses like Joseph Gordon Levitt as the loner Brendan, who is incredible in this film managing and traversing the dangerous high school setting.  The story and dialog might be a bit confusing at first, but the further you get into the story and deeper into the pit of crime, the more you will come to understand and comprehend the film.  The music is gorgeous and eerie as the plucks and tones all add to the mystique of the film.  From top to bottom, this is one of the best films around and I am happy to do this as my 365th post on Another Plot Device.

Thanks everyone for reading my ramblings and here’s to another 365 Movie of the Day posts.

*images via RottenTomatoes

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