Good Time movie review: Robert Pattinson is done playing the pretty boy
Stars from successful franchises usually find it hard to be taken seriously as actors. Take the case of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe who has spent his post-Potter life taking on increasingly bizarre roles in a desperate attempt to break away from the boy wizard image. Or Kirsten Stewart who outgrew her Twilight stardom by going the indie route. Stewart's Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson seems to be on a similar mission, and, with Good Time, he's shown that he's more than just a pretty face.
Playing a lowly criminal desperate to make a quick buck, Pattinson is ominous, intense and manic as his character spirals out of control over the course of the movie. Expertly directed by brothers Ben and Josh Safdie, Good Time may not be a good time for its characters, but it is certainly an good time for anyone who loves movies.
When Connie Nikas (Pattinson) and his mentally challenged brother Nick (Ben Safdie) rob a bank, they think they are set for life. However, when the heist goes wrong and Nick is arrested, Connie's sole focus turns to getting his brother out of jail. Everything he tries, however, seems to go wrong, setting Connie off on a rapidly escalating misadventure.
With time running out, and his options rapidly wearing thin, Connie is forced to get increasingly more violent and ruthless to save his brother.
Connie's situation is bleak, and the Safdie directors make sure that you feel exactly that. Throughout the movie, the cinematography really captures the ominous, concrete feel of the urban landscape Connie inhabits. Colours are over-saturated, giving the whole film a dystopic, neon glow that only further lends to the mood of the movie.
The movie's scoring, a techno-synth heavy offering, pulses loudly in the background as the action unfolds, building into unbearable crescendos as scenes climax. All of this creates an atmosphere where the audience actually feels like they're in the scene, with camera close-ups only furthering that feeling. At times, it was reminiscent of some of the darker scenes from Requiem for a Dream.
All of this is amplified perfectly by Robert Pattinson, in what is probably his best performance to date. The moral dilemmas Connie faces play out on Pattinson's face and manifest in his body language. He goes from angry and stubborn, to resolute, hopeful, desperate, and, finally, absolutely unhinged, and he does it all extremely well. The sheer commitment and intensity with which Pattinson plays Connie actually manages to get the audience to sympathise with, if not outright worry for, Connie.
Should you see it?
While it wont compete with the more commercial movies, it will certainly go down as a cult classic. If you like movies, it's a must watch.