13 November 2006


If David Mamet were to write a screenplay for teens (and if he could make a movie without Rebecca Pidgeon), Brick might be it. Rian Johnson's writing and directing creates an exciting, Noir-ish, slightly absurd tale of high school intrigue: a love affair gone sour, a few different varieties of double-cross, some drugs, some violence, and a dangerous dame who tries to play everyone.

One of the best things about this movie is its staccato, rapid-fire dialogue that forces the viewer to pay attention, as we grope to comprehend references to things we, the audience, don't yet know. Slowly, we -- along with "Brendan," played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (otherwise known for his role in 3rd Rock from the Sun) -- piece together the rough outlines of the tragedy at the center of the story. "Brendan" is the classically-appealing underdog, clever and unexpectedly tough, who stands up for what he knows is right. In doing so, he encounters some uncomfortable truths, but then, don't most heroes?

The supporting cast is also terrific, including a creepy Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss as the muscle-bound hot-head, and Nora Zeheter as the woman of intrigue. This is an independent movie well-worth seeing.


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