Robert Pattinson Has Returned With Up and Coming Safdie Bros.
By: David Mejia
‘Good Time’ is a gritty heist film about two brothers who rob a bank- and everything falls apart after that. With one brother being mentally handicapped and the other, a poor influence- it’s clear as to why a bank robbery couldn’t go smoother . Taking place in Queens, the atmosphere of rats scurrying across the sidewalk, bodegas catering to neighborhoods thrives throughout the film. A nice change from hundred million dollar budget films to which the audience spends most of the time following around Robert Pattinson’s, Connie, who finds himself surrounded by more and more unfortunate situations at every turn.
The last time I saw Pattinson on screen was in the Twilight series and this time around, he’s playing a more lively character than the pale and sparkly, Edward. While the audience doesn’t get to really see Pattinson’s true acting ability, he fosters a Queens accent that fooled me (a Texan). His bleached hair, facial hair, and wardrobe made it hard to believe that he once depicted a vampire. Surprisingly, his past performances quickly washed away in this new outstanding film. It’s much more mature and visceral.
With his performance comes a gritty and dirty film that was a joy to watch. It departs from Hollywood greatly. The camera moves are more jerky, the angles are awkward, even the use of color departs from higher budget films- but it works here. It creates a grimy feeling. Connie is a scrappy character, his facial hair looks poorly maintained, his wardrobe from scene to scene gets worse and worse, and I loved it. It shows that up and coming filmmakers can make a unique product in a familiar genre. This film’s scale is much smaller which allowed me to relate more. It wasn’t being lost in the grand scale of everything, the nice cars that will be driven to get the job done, the big machine guns to intimidate, no in fact it was just a mask and a poor plan. Everything else supports this poor plan, the camera tends to be handheld a lot of the time, the camera is at times higher or lower than what would be expected of a scene comprised of only a conversation. One scene in particular is in which Connie and his brother, Nick, have just robbed the bank and changed clothes making their way down the street. A police car makes patrols the area and the camera comes in close. Connie makes a run for it. The camera bobs up and down, and like that, the pacing is set for the whole film.
Good Time provided an interesting take on the heist film genre. It wasn’t something quite original as it like others: a person needs money and everything goes awry in the process. It’s been seen before, but the film is made itself its own through an electronic score that struck me and locked me into scenes where things were playing out unaccordingly or Connie and his cast mates were barely escaping trouble. The film even incorporated a twist that had me invested in deeper. The truth is, it didn’t go much deeper than overall super objectives, there were no overbearing themes that ran through the story, it was a very simple tale. For me, I like complex films that present each character with decisions that transcend the situation at hand. I believe this film really could have done that, Connie may have had deeper issues that conflicted with Ray’s, a guy he meets halfway through the film, which ultimately led to their ends.
This film is still a good time, no pun intended. It’s a nice change from Hollywood and shows that talented filmmaking can be achieved anywhere, and with any budget. I recommend this film to those looking for a change of pace in the movies they watch or just to see that Robert Pattinson is more than meets the eye. In the future, I hope to see the director duo, Benny and Josh Safdie, create more gritty work like this that has a place in the table with more seasoned directors.
My rating: 7/10
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