Fun, sleek, and brimming with vitality – words that you might use to advertise tinned dog food but not words you’d use to describe Broken Flowers.
BF is the illegitimate lovechild of the man who also spawned the legendary Coffee & Cigarettes – legendary like ‘Attila Da Hun’. Very bad! But then Attila was probably not as pretentious nor as inclined towards banal intercourse as Coffee & Cigarettes. Jim Jarmusch is the director’s name. Write it down, you’ll want to remember it when his next movie comes out.
Broken Flowers is the story of a small band of vigilantes, dressed in grey overalls, busting ghosts and ghouls in the city of New York.
Each morning they awaken to find they must relive the same horrid 24-hours over and over again. So who they gunna call? Oh wait, that was when lead actor Bill Murray was good.
Actually, maybe that’s not fair, but let’s take a peak at Bill’s latest CV: The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, Lost in Translation, and not forgetting his purrfect vocalisation of Garfield. Anyone else see a trend here? Lobby the Pope; demand action from your local MP; go sing outside Buckingham Palace to Queen Lizzie; do whatever must be done in order to stop Bill Murray from eternally being cast as the morose, middle-aged moron. We get the joke Bill, try something different!
In BF, our po-faced Deputy Dawg is a self-made millionaire. He is also a known cad with a lengthy list of past exploits – what is perplexing is how he even finds the energy to smile, let alone defile.
What is essentially an indie-mystery-film-noir-road trip begins when a letter arrives for our Don Juan (actual character name ‘Don Johnston’ – yep, they use that joke quite a bit in the movie). Without giving away too much of the (cough, splutter) plot, our hero embarks on a journey back through time.
The only tints of life amongst the movie’s otherwise dull and sedate driving scenes (which, in themselves, were indicative of it’s overall road-to-nowhere course) were the underused yet venerable cast, and the repetative use of dark, two-piece tracksuits. Besides that, it was butt-clenchingly slow. I was so bored I started listing other films that have the word ‘Broken’ in the title. Sadly, that game lasted only a few seconds because I got as far as Broken Arrow and then got stuck. I yearned for Bill to randomly jump onto his sleak, black leather sofa and bang out his best air-guitar rendition of “Rock Me Amadeus”. Instead I was forced to sip on a nice steaming hot cup of ‘will this ever end?!’
However, if one were forced to find meaning within this rather tiresome story, I suppose it could be said:
a) That the central character was deliberately vacant, glum and thoughtful, because…
b) it emphasised the different perceptions of said central character in the eyes of his ex-partners, because…
c) their reactions toward his arrival were born from a Don they once knew, but then…
d) he is a constant, so how could their previous interactions with him be so varied? Which means…
e) it, therefore, didn’t work.
Will it make you think about your past sexual encounters? Will it make you ponder how the alienation of womanising inevitably leads to loneliness? Will it make you want to hire a car and drive across America? I doubt it, but Sharon Stone snogs Bill Murray, and that’s about it.
If you’re the kind of viewer who needs the prize of deciphering a movie’s meaning, then you’ll probably find lots to talk about in Broken Flowers. However, if you’re the type of movie lover who likes your blocks busted and your Holly made of Wood, then follow the example of the young gent sat directly behind me during the show. After it was over he casually turned to his girlfriend and said “That is the last f-ing time I let you choose the movie”.
NOT greater than the sum of all it’s parts. Otherwise 5 out of 10
And if you wont take my word for it here is the ultra-concise review from my temporary new best friend:
B*stard Bain – “Quirky and on the brink of being entertaining.”