I love a good caper. I even love the word caper. Capers are my favorite kind of movie. “The Thomas Crown Affair” is a good one. “The Imposters” another. And now comes “The Brothers Bloom,” more mad-cap than most perhaps, but thoroughly, utterly satisfying. I want “The Brothers Bloom” to be this summer’s indie sleeper hit so badly–it’s confusing and suspenseful in the best way (think “The Usual Suspects” but way more lighthearted), it will definitely make you laugh until you can’t breathe in certain moments, and it will likely make you cry, too.
All this, plus an unbelievable cast: Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, and Mark Ruffalo, and it’s a literati dream–it’s got all sorts of meta going on about “written” and “unwritten lives” that have to do with cons (on a basic level) and then the Big Meaningful Stuff that makes a well-lived life.
Without going into too much plot detail (and really, I couldn’t if I tried–this is one of those movies that I want to go back and see again to capture the full, layered story now that I know the end), the Brothers Bloom are con artists born at a tender age, with the first con “written” (literally as a story with a plot and a romantic interest) by the older Bloom, Stephen, so that his younger, shier brother called, simply, Bloom, might have a reason to talk to a girl he’s sweet on. Thus begins a life of con after con until Bloom tires out of the life and wants something real. He wants to live his own story and not the tales of lies his older brother has spun for twenty years now–or so he thinks he wants “an unwritten life” for once.
The only other things you need to know about this one are the following: Rachel Weisz is UTTERLY WINNING as the “victim”/ “love interest” for the Brothers Bloom last con, and Rinko Kikuchi who plays Bang-Bang is totally silent (except for a single expletive and a karaoke song) and absolutely amazing at comedy.
This is a must-see for anyone looking for a film that’s smart, funny, and ultimately kind of beautiful, and about all that stuff that inspires us about what it means to live a meaningful life.