"an unconventional fast paced film that found an unconventional way to tell a story about loyalty and brotherly love"
The ambitious and unconventional latest brotherly collaboration between Benny And Josh Safdie, Good Times is a drama, crime story about the length a brother would go to protect his sibling. Set in NYC the film follows Connie in his attempt to free his disabled brother from prison after their first big bank robbery goes wrong.
In his long night, Connie tries everything in his power to get Nick back, including getting himself involved in drug related business to find a way to pay for his brother’s bail. Highly praised at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Good Times is an unconventional fast paced film that found an unconventional way to tell a story about loyalty and brotherly love.
The main character is not someone honourable or infallible; Connie is deeply flawed. His life is not put together, he is constantly looking for an easy and illegal way to make money, involving in the process his brother, who is disable and only tags along to make him proud.
Their dysfunctional relationship is however built on the love they have for one another, even if they find wrong ways to show their affection and their actions are not moral at all, they both do it to for each other. Robert Pattinson completely looses himself in the performance. In past films, it was quite hard to separate the actor interpreting a role from him entirely becoming his character.
However, this time he outdid himself by getting lost in Connie’s erratic behaviour. His affection for his brother and the deep guilt for getting him incarcerated are the moving force behind his actions. However, he is not cunning and although his motivations are nobles, he can only find conniving ways to solve his troubles. Greed is at his core and even though he wants to save his brother, he also needs to find new ways to become rich. This thirst for power and welt is what gets him into trouble, but that is the only way he knows how to live. Robert Pattinson understood Connie's complex personality and portrayed him realistically on screen.
His brother Nick only lives to impress him and follow Connie’s lead. He is a victim in this story and he doesn’t know anything better than what his brother teaches him. Connie’s egoism in needing someone who needs him more than anything else, is what puts Nick in trouble. Benny Safdie does a stellar interpretation of Nick, he makes this character highly complex in his simplicity. He always needs someone to tell him what to do and the fact that he doesn’t know how to recognise what is right and what is wrong, makes him easier to forgive in the eyes of the audience.
The directing is a bit too erratic, but it has to match the pace of the story. The cinematography implements dark colours and every shade of blue mixed up with psychedelic lights almost to match Connie’s state of mind. The scenes are put together in sharp sequences that seem detached from one another. The camera follows the actors almost claustrophobically and the many close ups on the characters help create that feeling of urgency and anxiety felt by Connie in his frantic quest to save his brother.
The soundtrack used to accompany every scene is loud and has a strong and hammering rhythm that almost dominates the scenes making it slightly uneasy for the audience to follow the story. By using some sort of a bad guy as the protagonist of this story, the Safdie Brothers show how even dysfunctional characters can be moved by noble causes to protect and save who they love.