If you are among the people that think that Robert Pattinson cannot act, this is the film that will change your mind. From the minds of the Safdie Brothers comes Good Time and it is one hell of a crazy trip. It takes so many twists and turns that you cannot help but appreciate the way the story has been plotted. The film is chaos from the moment it starts and the way the events unfold is so organic. Nothing feels out of place and everything plausible.
It is heartening to see a crime film that pays so much attention to action and reaction. Many times you will see a script that has forgotten one key element or even worse, there are actions that don’t have consequences. Good Time is not like that, it focuses on what these characters do and what they get in return. My favorite part of Good Time is the humor that comes from the most unexpected of places. There’s a scene where Pattinson is getting intimate with a younger girl. The way it is constructed is so ingenious and funny, I burst out laughing and I hope you will too.
What makes Good Time special is the way it subverts our expectations. Getting into the specifics of this is going to rob you of the experience, so I will refrain from doing that. You expect B to happen after A but the Safdie Brothers aren’t interested in doing that. They want to give you something new and they deliver on that almost every single time. And all this craziness is anchored by Pattinson who is remarkable. His need to protect his brother, his want for money and the desperation that ensues are all captured immaculately by the actor.
You will be convinced that this man is ‘Connie’ and with each scene, memories of his Twilight years will start fading away. Another aspect of Good Time that makes it a cracking watch is the cinematography and editing. We are shown some grimy areas of New York but thanks to the work of Sean Price Williams they look gorgeous. The editing done by Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie gives the film a frenetic feel. Despite this, we never feel like we are out of the loop. There isn’t much wrong that I could find with Good Time but it might be an acquired taste for some. Not everyone is going to laugh at some of the dark humor here. But, if Good Time is to be seen, it is for the captivating central performance from R Pat. And if you give it a chance, you might end up having a good time (no pun intended).
When it was announced that Claire Denis was going to make an English language film with Robert Pattinson, I was really excited. Having seen the director’s previous work such as 35 Shots Of Rum, I was curious as to what she was going to with a film set in outer space. High Life certainly does not disappoint as it is one film that raises more questions than it gives answers. Personally I like this as I feel that too many movies try giving answers when they perhaps don’t have to.
The way I see it, the film is trying to talk about our base needs and how they don’t change even in the future or when we are hurtling through the galaxy. Sex is what powers human beings and that’s what is happening here as well. The people on the spaceship are there because Juliette Binoche’s character wants to create life. They are merely guinea pigs in an experiment that she makes work with dubious measures. There is a lot to unpack on a ethical and philosophical level. But the film wisely steers clear from that and focuses on the people who are the crux of the ship.
The heart of the film is the relationship between Robert Pattinson’s Monte and his daughter. If there is one part that could have been explored a little more, it would be how the two survived on the ship until the daughter becomes a teenager. Denis decides to present the story in a non-linear manner and the effect is quite disorienting like traveling through space. We keep cutting between the past and present so often that it becomes merged and feels the same. Perhaps this is a comment on the way time works when you leave Earth.
As far as performances are concerned, it is Robert Pattinson who holds the ship down with great aplomb. His intensity slowly evolves into a state of resigned helplessness and the growing weariness on his face is a joy to watch. He keeps adding to his already impressive filmography. I would definitely recommend this film as it raises some interesting points that we don’t normally see in films from this genre. High Life is further proof of the editing mastery that is present in Claire Denis films and if nothing else, it is worth watching for its technical qualities alone.
Whenever there is news about casting in a superhero film, the reaction is varied and this is true of even the most celebrated casting decisions. Today, we absolutely cannot see anyone as the Joker apart from Heath Ledger but when he was cast, there was a lot of negative reaction. Now, there are reports that Robert Pattinson is in talks to take on the role of the Caped Crusader. The actor who is most commonly associated with the Twilight franchise is being thought of as the wrong choice by many. What I would like to do is offer a defense for the actor and give reasons as to why you should give him a chance.
To begin with, calling him the ‘Twilight dude’ is a disservice to all the stellar work that he has done this decade. Sure, his performance as Edward in those films will not make much of a impression on you but since then, he has transformed his career. By focusing on Indie films and working with strong scripts, he has shown how good an actor he is. He has worked with some of the best directors including David Cronenberg, Claire Denis and Werner Herzog. Those three alone present an enviable lineup to actors all over and Pattinson has been able to do that.
The variety in his work has been astonishing to see and even I was skeptical of it at first. But over a period of around 8 years, he has shown that he is a tremendous performer who especially excels at roles that require intensity. In fact, given how much the actor himself dislikes the Twilight films, I was surprised to see him being linked to another franchise. But if I’ve learnt anything from his recent work, it is that he believes in the director and the story. And if this is where Matt Reeves has won him over, then we are in for a treat. There is still a chance that Pattinson will not be Batman but using his ‘Twilight’ work to criticize him is just shortsighted. And as films like Good Time have shown us, R Pat can act.