Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mr. Brooks

The idea really isn’t new. A prominent member of society has a secret dark side…a secret that would stun the populace if they ever found out. That’s the story of Mr. Brooks. Man of the Year by day, Serial Killer (with Multiple Personality Disorder) by night. Using the multiple personality angle allows for interesting writing and discourse with a character who is obviously at odds with himself, in a visible struggle against his strong desire to kill. It was an artistically brilliant idea to demonstrate the struggle in a visual way (although you might argue that this has been done before). It still works very well in this film, and allows the writers to thoroughly develop the main character.

The acting in this film is superb. I am not much of a Kevin Costner fan…and I can’t stand Demi Moore. However, Costner is brilliant in his role as Mr. Brooks. Demi Moore’s character is a little more one dimensional and predictable than Costner’s, but I must admit that she made the most of the part. Dane Cook plays a lackey role in this film, and does an adequate job of being a loser. There is one scene where he is confronted by Demi Moore’s cop character, while holding some incriminating photographs in an envelope in his hand. I thought he pulled this scene off convincingly, given all of the things that were going on in the film at that particular time. William Hurt is Costner’s alter-ego, and does a good job of setting up Costner’s struggle. There wasn’t a lot that could be done with this character, since he is the antagonist. I felt as though his performance allowed Costner to be at his best. Danielle Panabake plays Costner’s daughter, and has a minimal part in the film. She brings a certain tension to the screen, despite having lines that are mostly bland (intentionally). She does a good job of creating an undercurrent, and allowing you to know that something isn’t as it seems. She also gets to scare the heck out of you near the end of the film.

The camera work in this film is interesting. It is not amazing, but there are some scenes devoid of color that create additional suspense, as well as vivid daylight scenes that somewhat compliment the mood of the main character. When Costner is on the prowl, the dim lighting and almost black and white feel create a suspenseful atmosphere, while other times you feel that you are with the character in broad daylight and have nothing to fear. It’s almost like the darkness is when you have to fear him. Unlike Panabaker’s character who doesn’t need darkness to strike fear into your heart. She creates an uneasiness anytime she’s in the frame. The isn’t much in the way of heavy action sequences.

Read More About Mr. Brooks

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