Brick(2006) by Rian Johnson


“You better be sure you wanna know what you wanna know.”


Brick(2006) by Rian Johnson is a daring film in many ways. It assumes, much like Primer that the viewers are smart and are willing to go with the plot no matter how far fetched it may seem. The lines are confounding to say the least. Sometimes they don’t make sense at all and it may take a couple of viewings to actually figure out what the characters are talking about. In that way, it’s a lot like A Clockwork Orange; you have to learn the lingo as you go on.

The narrative centers around a detective story but the setting is a modern day high school and somehow it’s all just very very cool. Brendan Frye (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt from 3rd Rock from the Sun) is a high school student who unlike most others knows how the ‘upper crust’ of druggies operate, their inner workings so to speak. He is pulled into this once he gets a phone call from his ex-girlfriend who cries and mentions something about a ‘brick’, a ‘tug’ and a ‘pin’. Confused, he launches an investigation of his own to make sure she’s alright with the help of another recluse, The Brain,a prodigy of sorts. He also informs the Vice Principal of the school of some of the goings on. As things move on, he meets a lot of shady and sophisticated characters like Laura , the violent Tug , seductive Kara, Brad and drug baron The Pin.

Now, the film is very very confusing mostly because it’s not that easy to understand what the characters are talking about. It takes a little time to get into the flow, but once you’re in, it’s very rewarding. If you’re a fan of film noir, you’ll love it for the freshness it brings in to the genre.

What really struck me was the direction and editing. The camera is still for mostof the scenes and the editing is excellent. Some of the scenes are really mindblowing. Most of the special effects were made thanks to some very original techniques. There is a scene where Tug comes to hit Brendan…very neat stuff. The film was shot on 35mm stock and hardly any scene required a green screen.

The film had a very low budget but won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was also nominated at Independent Spirit Award 2006 for the John Cassavetes Award (best film production with a budget under USD 500,000).

The posters for this film are pretty amazing too. All in all, 9/10. One of the best films of 2006.


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