out of place and time

I felt the strong desire to watch a costume-heavy, eye-candy-laden movie this weekend, pestering the boy to see if he owned "Marie Antoinette" (the one with Kirsten Dunst) or "Rear Window" and "Annie Hall". He had both Annie Hall and Marie Antoinette, but the movie I ended up watching was far from any one of those.

"The Brothers Bloom" was a quirky, surprising movie about a pair of con artists and an even more quirky heiress, played by Rachel Weisz. Rinko Kikuchi also makes an appearance as a (mostly) silent henchman usually in the background engaging in bizarre activities--case in point: peeling an apple, then eating the peel.

Something I enjoyed very much about this movie was that it didn't pretend to be based on any certain time period and age; it seemed to be a selection of characters placed in Mexico, New Jersey, or Russia.

Our two leads, Mark Ruffalo and Adrian Brody, are introduced as extremely "dapper" and overdressed children. They wear hats, suit jackets and suit trousers, while their peers roll around in mud in their overalls and smocked dresses. Their uniform remains the same throughout the movie even as they mature. Their dress is ironic in that they are con men, meant to be invisible, inconspicuous, yet they would only be at home in a film centered around the 50's. Of course, with the recent success of TV's "Mad Men", it might be more commonplace to see men changing their wardrobes to appear more polished, but Mark and Adrian's suits are no business suits.

image via ign.com

Rachel Weisz's kooky character doesn't seem to be dressed for the present day, though, either. Her attire seems a bit dated, and none of her clothing is very form-fitting. I felt a bit ambivalent towards her character throughout; she is very entertaining to watch, but the clothing would have been very frumpy if not topped off with Rachel's beautiful face. Rachel's character seemed to have stayed in the 90's, which might be fitting given the circumstances of the character.

Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) appears to be from another time and another place. Her character seems ghostly, as no one really acknowledges the existence of her character, and she does not talk very much. She creates various types of bombs for the brothers, being a deadly accomplice... yet she busts out a sparkly silver number towards the end. Much like her character, her costume changes are sporadic and quick. In one scene she is in Chanel sunglasses with a hat, the next she is in goggles and a jumpsuit.

image via aintitcool.com

The movie is a careful reflection of its story: that all the characters are arranged into a chosen setting, placed into a certain time period, shuffled from place to place--all according to its writer.

And in which case most costumes help to paint a more accurate picture of a story, as an effective story-telling device, the wardrobe in this movie only helps to illustrate a better picture of each character, not the movie as a whole.


Dream Sequins said...

I saw this on the plane recently- I didn't think anyone would have seen it! I thought Rinko's character was delightful and Rachel Weisz's character was endearing at first, then super annoying.

j said...

the costuming was lovely in marie antoinette. E>

though i am afraid of potentially being disappointed in rachel weisz's character (she's so adorable!)...time to dL the brothers bloom.

Womens Dresses said...

That looks like a really cool film! I'm a huge fan of Adrien Brody!

Jane said...

I saw this film for the first time at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, with writer/director Rian Johnson in attendance. During the Q&A portion afterwards, I definitely remember him explaining the costumes that the brothers wear as being very stylized on purpose - part of Stephen's vision for what the "story" should look like.

Personally, the wardrobe was one of my favorite aspects of the film! (Not that I didn't love everything else..)


That move had a good costumes/wardrobe...

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