Robert Pattinson, he of Twilight fame, is making a bid for freedom. And what better way to cast off those franchise fetters than by getting down and dirty, indie-style.
In his latest outing, Good Time, Pattinson earns his street cred by teaming up with hip up-and-comers the Safdie brothers, whose warts-and-all depictions of New York City life have already gained an ardent critical following.
This time around, however, the Safdie brothers have developed an aesthetic that is not so much urban gothic as urban freak-out. As such, the film’s two main characters (Pattinson’s Connie and his mentally challenged younger brother Nick, played by Ben Sadfie) spend most of their time on screen in a state of panic, on the run from various menacing – and usually institutional – forces.
Generating tension is what this film excels at, with every sight and sound hounding us out of our comfort zone. It is an approach which thrusts the audience into a world of amped-up extremity, where danger is never too far away.
But all this world-building would come to nothing without the vitalising presence of Pattinson. It is through his frayed, frazzled and frantic performance that we come to understand the high emotional stakes of the story.
Good Time is about as ironic a title as you can get in terms of what the characters have to suffer through in this film, but for those of us sitting on the other side of the screen, those two words seem to fit just right. Chris Prindiville
‘Good Time’ is screening as part of the Perth Festival from December 4-10 at the Somerville Auditorium, UWA and from December 12-17 at Joondalup Pines, ECU.