Broken Flowers (2005)

“Broken Flowers” (2005)

IMDb

smokeless cigar

Today, just a few days after watching this film, i saw American Beauty again. I chose to watch Broken Flowers, but it was a coincidence that i came to watch Beauty soon after. I think these two films are related to each other, through a certain sense of seeking beauty. Mendes had Conrad Hall with him, so he made that quest more viscerally visual. But Jarmuch is, as well, someone who cares about exploiting the power of the banal, the nuances of the ordinary.

In American Beauty, the trick was self-awareness within the story. Every character was en powered with a sense of self-irony. Drama was born from the fact that everyone understood the quirks of their own lives, and fought against them.

Here, Murray’s character already knows, from the beginning, where he stands in the world, plays along with it, and only reluctantly indulges in doing something against it (and only by the intervention of a friend). So, the “joke” is self-mocking, reinforced by Murray’s character, which is quite larger already than the boundaries of this specific film: we already know this character from other films, from other Murray’s roles. Jarmuch knows this, and uses it for his own intent, something he is quite good at doing (it was in fact the basis for his great Coffe and Cigarettes).

In order for this to work, we must have the touch of this director. So the self-awareness, materialized in Murrays self-mockery, is embedded in a mood, that we follow through the whole film, all the way to the end.

It’s good, it really is well done, and Jarmuch-Murray are really masters of their own corners in the film world, but i didn’t allow myself to be dragged to this well built long form as passionately as i allowed myself to get into the broken puzzle of Cigarettes. But Jarmuch is a solid bet, you should spend time with his work.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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