I wholeheartedly thank Rorie for reviewing this little-known, low-budget darling. Without his review I would have never seen (nor hear of) Brick and that would've been a shame. Before I get to the meat and potatoes of my review let me drop some worthy knowledge about Brick and its director, Rian Johnson. Brick was produced and directed for a ridiculously low amount, a measly $500,000. It's clear that Rian believed in the potential of this movie and sacrificed much to get it made. His love and dedication for the movie only help to show that good films need not a large budget; only a caring director and some talented, young actors.
Brick tells the tale of Brendan (Joseph Gordon-levitt) and his pursuit of the truth surrounding the a recent tragedy that has befallen him. Throughout the movie he'll interact with various characters, each with their own agenda and ambitions; slowly uncovering truths and discovering the dynamic relationships between various characters. A notable factor is the cast and locale of Brick. The cast consists mostly of young adults; with the odd adult actor thrown in for not-so-important roles. This is definitely a choice for the best. Watching young adults deal with problems far more serious and devious than their age warrants seeing and being a part of. This really helps with the emotional aspects of the films. Brick is much more heart-breaking when you consider the age group of the characters; the feeling of despair and sadness is much more heightened. With that said, Brick certainly doesn't barrage its audience with the usual colloquialisms of youth, or the general stupidity of said age group. Brick carries its cast with a far more mature tone: each character speaks in an eloquent, intellectual and respectable manner. The tone of dialogue combined with the noir-light theme of the movie really help to distinguish Brick- and make it worthy of praise.
Brick at times can seem a little over-ambitious. Dealing with gang fights, drugs, murder and relationships- it can seem a little far-fetched and stretched at some points. I feel this is because of the tight-budget of the film; much is said and not much is actually shown in regards to gangs and the violence that proceeds to happen by the end of the film. This isn't a large complaint- not everything needs to be displayed to be told. Brick is a tightly-told story, looking for too much might make the seams of the movie stand-out. The movie does a lot with a little, perhaps a little too much.
I like equivocacy. I appreciate a movie that naturally lends its self to multiple approaches, as long as it feels natural and not too stark. Brick feels comfortable with it's ambiguous ending- its not movie-breaking or anything revolutionary, but it does offer multiple interpretations of the ending without causing contrivance to the flow of the story or actions taken within the movie.
In short: Brick is worth watching and clearly highlight's the acting skill of its cast and the directing skill of Rian Johnson. Noir themes mixed with a mature approach to characters make this movie a joy to watch.