"The pure always act from love. The damned always act from love..."
So says the haunting chords that close out this 'film.'
I say 'Film' because I struggle to really call this a normal piece of cinema, instead of an 'experience'. This is a film that is to be EXPERIENCED, not just watched and digested. It grips you with no qualms for your comfort, and juts you into a nightmare world of neon, crime, Sprite bottles full of acid and synthesized heartbeats.
'Good Time' is the story of Connie Nikas, a criminal from Brooklyn that you spend the majority of this film balancing a treacherous love-hate relationship with that, like some of the characters he meets within the film, could turn costly at any moment. In the midst of a failed bank robbery, Connie's autistic brother Nicholas is arrested, which catapults Connie into a one-night frantic struggle to free the brother he loves, and only that matters. From then...I'm not sure WHERE to begin...
To begin with what many will likely take away from this film, I have to note that the score to this film is GORGEOUS. Simplistic in its design and extremely familiar to those who have ever heard the score to 'The Terminator' by the legendary Brad Fiedel, the primarily Synth score by Oneohtrix Point Never is haunting in its pulsing rhythm as we watch Connie's situation turn all the more desperate throughout the film. It feels frantic, as if it is our own pulse rocketing-out and our nerves manifesting in sound. It coats the film in a sleek sheen of sound, which I will be remembering for a long time and will be likely purchasing in physical form. In a land barren of unique-sounding film music, this stands-out from the crowd in a big way.
A film would be no good, however, with sights to go with excellent sound. Thankfully, Good Time sports a gorgeous-yet-grungy style to it that is also all its own. This film sports an odd approach of most of its characters being shot in tight closeups, a startling contrast from most studio films, and what would often be considered a deal-breaker. However, this adds to the comfort-destroying tone Good Time intends to create. The look of it is claustrophobic, and makes us FEEL this desperation these characters feel as they struggle through the night. Along with these tight and confined shots, the lighting of the film is gorgeous as well. Everything from red neon to orange streetlights and TV static illuminate this film in a gloss that I can't recall from any other film that dares to call itself 'grungy' in any form. Like its score, its visuals haunt the viewer, and drag them into the world of the Brooklyn crime world at night.
Robert Pattinson, who essentially carries the weight of this film's acting duties, is absolutely phenomenal as a character we struggle to deduce whether we love or hate. He shows love and compassion for those who are weaker, especially for his autistic brother. At the same time, however, we see him bulldoze through anyone and anything that attempts to stop him from freeing his brother. The film is quite literally his path of destruction that makes us question by the end of this film's crisp 99-minute runtime; "At what cost?"
By the end of the film, where we are shown the reality of the world 'Good Time' rushes us through, we are allowed to breath and really take-in everything...and wonder why some people we consider scum truly DO these horrible things. What leads them to these ends? What do they love that they constantly struggle and fight for? Does this undying love make them GOOD or EVIL for what they do?
In the end, we are left to judge. And we are left to ask who is really in their 'right place' in the world, who is wrong or right, and what the struggles in the midst of desperation are worth in the end, and how destructive that death rattle can become.
Sporting an incredible score, grungy cinematography, terrific performances, and a haunting presence that has yet to even leave me, 'Good Time' is the best film that NO ONE has seen from 2017.
And frankly, you should go see it, now, and have yourself a good time.