GOOD TIME review by Patrick Hendrickson – Robert Pattinson delivers troubled brotherly love

GOOD TIME review by Patrick Hendrickson – Robert Pattinson delivers troubled brotherly love

Good Time is the story of two brothers, Connie Nikas and Nick Nikas, who become involved in criminal activity to escape their desperate lives. Nick is mentally handicapped and because of this Connie is intensely protective of his little brother. Connie is played by Robert Pattinson who gives an admirable performance, and Nick is played by Ben Safdie, one of the directors, who takes a backseat to Connie but who also does a good job in the role.

The brothers are split apart early on in the story after a robbery attempt leads to Nick getting arrested. The majority of the plot is spent on Connie trying to track down Nick and get him out of police custody. The biggest issue with the story of this production is how unlikable Connie is. He drags his mentally handicapped brother along for a robbery after taking him away from a doctor who seems genuinely interested in helping keep Nick safe. Throughout the night, Connie does a number of things that make him more and more unsavory to the point of where I was completely unconvinced that Nick would be better off with his brother than in the custody of the police or of a hospital.

There are some good twists and turns that the story goes through, but the tone manages to stay consistently grimy and grungy throughout. The directors, Josh and Ben Safdie, do an excellent job of keeping the mood consistent throughout this film and the stars of the film contribute great performances that compliment this mood of desperation.

One particular scene involves Connie sitting in a car listening to an ex-con’s story of the day he got out of jail. The story is told visually along with the con’s narration. The music quiets down, there is no yelling, there is just the slow recounting of how this man spent his first day out of prison and how he ended up in the situation he was in when Connie found him. This scene is a sign that there could be some genuinely enchanting moments in the rest of the film if there was not so much noise distracting from them. Connie’s character might be more sympathetic if he was not constantly yelling and cursing at nearly everybody he meets, including people trying to help him. This all might contribute to the mood of the film, but it also all starts to grate by the end.

The sound design in general is a big detriment to the film. The music is fine but is extremely loud for the vast majority of the run time. The score is usually loud enough to drown out dialogue which makes it difficult to follow exactly what the characters are planning. There are only a few scenes where things quiet down and these are the highlights.

There are a few subtle moments that hint at things not being entirely as they seem. The grandmother of Connie and Nick is shown blaming Connie for Nick’s behavior, and the doctor who Nick was seen visiting also places a lot of blame on Connie for what has happened. This all implies that Connie is a massively negative influence in Nick’s life and once that comes across, it is even harder to support Connie’s efforts throughout the film. This would be fine if screen time was split equally between the two brothers, but that is not the case. Connie is unarguably the protagonist of the movie and it becomes nearly impossible to root for his success by the end.

Good Time has a lot of moments in it that are intriguing but the movie as a whole is nearly as messy as the situations the characters are all in. Connie walks a fine line throughout the plot, but he stumbles across it most of the time. The excellent tone that is maintained and the impressive performances help to negate these issues and because of that, this one gets a 3/5

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