Directed by Benny and Josh Safdie
Starring Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barkhad Abdi
Good Time isn’t just a wild ride of a film, it’s a brief gaze into the wild ride that some inner-city folks live. This has cult film written all over it, as it’s an immense cinematic treat that delves into the night-time lives of its peculiarly troubled characters. The filmmaking duo of the Safdie brothers have pieced together their own vision of New York that feels so genuine and so stylistically unique, it really forgoes any comparisons to any other film.
A botched robbery leads to Connie (Robert Pattinson) escaping with the money and his partner-in-crime and brother, Nick (Benny Safdie), ends up in jail. After Nick’s transferred from the holding cell to a prison hospital following a violent encounter, Connie hatches a plan to sneak him out, but his plans go terribly awry and his mistakes, impulses, and diversions lead him toward a crazed night of varying scenarios, involving a fling named Crystal (Taliah Webster), a theme-park security guard (Barkhad Abdi), and a badly conceived plan to sell acid with another convict, Ray (Buddy Duress).
Taking place over this one event-filled night, Good Time delves head-first into this particular kind of living for some in New York, which is equally as insane as it is desperate. The enormously impressive, bravado performance from Pattinson is supported by a number of street-casted supporting players, whose authenticity help make their crazy world feel all the less unreal.
The Safdie brothers have matched this wild ride with an intense cinematic style that would seem over-the-top if it weren’t suited to this kind of story. The dizzying and pulsating music, composed by one of the most eccentric electronic musicians out there, Oneohtrix Point Never, adds a great deal to the frenetic pacing and much needed sense of urgency, which is also complimented by the tremendous cinematography that uses such stark colour schemes to make this trip seem all the more intense.
Good Time succeeds in both dazzling us with its filmic style whilst grounding the story in human interactions that feel so real. The story often sidelines into the most unpredictable of situations, but it always manages to centre itself back to the story of one brother trying to take care of the other (the keyword being ‘trying’). This is certainly an experience of a film, and one not to miss.
Good Time plays at UWA Somerville from Mon 4-Sun 10 Dec, 8pm, and at ECU Joondalup Pines from Tues 12-Sun17 Dec, 8pm. For more info head to perthfestival.com.au.