Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is Truth Worth The Pursuit? (Brick, 2005)

#89-- Brick (2005)

There is a fundamental truth found in all noir films: The pursuit of truth hurts.

It may hurt a person physically (The Maltese Falcon), or emotionally (Notorious) or morally (Double Indemnity), but it hurts.  Hurts like hell.  No one who is serious about truth should take the search lightly.  Because it causes pain.

Brenden is concerned about his friend Emily, who has turned up missing.  Finding out the truth about Emily is a hard pursuit and it leads to thugs and drugs and broken mugs (especially Brendens’).   It’s tough.  I wonder if Brenden ever wishes he never began this search.  He is so obsessed, perhaps he never considered it.  But he should have, because finding the truth always costs more than we ever thought we’d have to pay.  Sorkin’s phrase from A Few Good Men is true of all of us: We can’t handle the truth.

Because the truth is personal.  Always.  In the end, if we find the truth, we have to take a part of ourselves, our self-respect, our false hopes, our self-deception, and we have to leave it behind.  The real truth never leaves us whole.  At the end, when the truth is exposed, we find it isn’t the world or another person that is naked, broken and shamed.  It is ourselves.

Fun Fact: Brick is Rian Johnson's first directed film; his latest is the recently-released Looper. Johnson writes his own films and takes on a different genre with each film.  Brick is neo-noir, The Brothers Bloom is a con film, and Looper is a sci-fi time travel movie. All are awesome. 

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