Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks is a very unusual and completely unpredictable thriller. Kevin Costner plays Earl Brooks, loving husband and father, who has just been selected 'Man of the Year' by the Portland Chamber of Commerce. But he has a dark secret nobody knows. He is the serial killer known as the Thumbprint killer and after controlling his instincts for 2 years, has just killed again. But this time a man(Dane Cook) takes photos of him and begins to blackmail him. Meanwhile his daughter has dropped out of school with some big problems. And a policewoman(Demi Moore) is determined to catch the Thumbprint killer.

Serial killers are typically the bad guys who have long been the targets for the heroes in books and movies. When a novel breaks the rules and has a serial killer as the hero, like in the Dexter series of books, he is a 'good' serial killer who eliminates people who are worse than him. So the fact that the protagonist is a serial killer makes Mr. Brooks stand out right at the start. And he is not given a backstory or a reason to make us sympathize with him. Killing is an addiction for him and that's pretty much it. This fact makes it difficult to guess how the movie will proceed or even end.

Inspite of that, we don't dislike him and there are a couple of scenes where we come close to cheering for him. Credit for this goes to the director. He makes Costner a troubled individual who doesn't like what he is and wants to stop. On the other hand, the director gives human form to his alter-ego, making it the part of him that is responsible for his addiction. So it becomes easier to feel sorry for Costner. His genuine love and affection for his wife and daughter also do their part in softening our feelings for him. And then there's the fact that the movie presents us with some pretty unsavory characters like Dane Cook and another serial killer Meeks to divide up our feelings of dislike.

The film has a very unpredictable screenplay. There are quite a few coincidences(like the whole Meeks subplot) and some plot developments(like Costner's trip to California) that are difficult to accept but the film makes up for these by constantly keeping us guessing. The film has some surprises up its sleeve and reveals these at regular intervals to keep us hooked inspite of the slow pace with which the story unravels. It keeps its cards hidden right upto the end and because of this, even a familar cheat works as a sudden, shocking surprise.


At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unrelated question - Have you heard the songs of 'Azhagiya T M'? Best ARR album I have heard in ages. The remix song is bad, but the rest sounded decent even at first hearing. After couple hearings, hooked on 'Ellapuzhagum' and 'Valaiyapatti'

At 11:44 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

BB -
Have you seen the "The Illusionist".

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Remake on the cards?

And after 10 months of bugging, have you caught up on Mani Ratnam's 'Guru' yet?

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Prestige is another interesting movie, where two magicians try to one-up each other.


At 11:34 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

prakash, just started hearing them from yesterday. hooked on 'ella pugazhum' for now :)

vthink, yes. but i preferred 'the prestige' to it :)

prin, this might be a tough one for a remake, esp. in Tamil.

and no :(

arun, yes, i really liked it :)

At 2:59 AM, Blogger narayanan said...

nice find bb. will try seeing this movie. been a while since i've seen proper villains onscreen :)

there is a new hindi movie by the name 'No smoking' that is totally out of the ordinary. i cant say anything positive or negative about it, am yet to decipher what the 2nd half was all about. If you ever watch this movie, watch it alone.


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