The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • June 18, 2024

There’s nothing quite like Omaha when June rolls around.  Fans from across the country head to Charles Schwab Field to watch their teams...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024
Advertisement
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

‘Motherless Brooklyn:’ A vanity project by Edward Norton

Motherless+Brooklyn
Photo by Creative Commons
Motherless Brooklyn

“Motherless Brooklyn” is a decent detective story revolving around Edward Norton’s Tourette’s- afflicted private eye, Lionel Essrog, as he investigates New York City corruption and his partner’s killer. However, many flaws make “Motherless Brooklyn” a less-than-quality film.
Set in the 1950s, the film is shot in the same style as the famous noir films of the period and is filled with private eyes, narrative twists, jazz clubs and mysterious murders. But while the movie has all the hallmarks of a traditional film noir, it lacks devotion to this style and fails to deliver the feel of a classic private detective story throughout its runtime. Despite the vintage cars that line the streets and trench coats and fedoras the characters wear, “Motherless Brooklyn” is made with all the crisp color and language of any modern film. It’s as if director Edward Norton occasionally forgot he was trying to make a noir-style film. The atmosphere of the film misses the mark by so much that at times the film feels as though it takes place in modern New York.
The film is a passion project for Norton, who wrote the screenplay, directed and starred in the film. It’s obvious that he directed himself, and that’s not a good thing. Edard Norton is an incredible actor, but no one should ever play the lead of their own film. Norton’s performance isn’t bad per se, just distracted. His character’s Tourette’s feels at times like a gimmick and a plot device, and it never quite seems fully integrated into the character. Norton does manage to stand up next to the likes of Bruce Willis’ private detective, Alec Baldwin’s power-hungry city official and Willem Dafoe’s mysterious informant, but only barely. Norton would have been so much better had someone else directed the film.
Aside from Norton’s distracted performance, the acting is incredible. The cast includes a long list of big names, but Dafoe, Baldwin and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays a political activist and love-interest, stand above. Each of these characters inject life into an otherwise mediocre film, and it quickly becomes their stories that draw audience interest. Baldwin manifests into an imposing and sinister character, and Dafoe plays cowardly-but-concerned very well as an informant who has all the answers but won’t take action directly for fear of retribution. However, it is Mbatha-Raw who delivers the most human performance out of all of them as a naïve, idealistic activist caught smack in the middle of the action.
Overall, “Motherless Brooklyn” has a great concept and story, but it falls a little short on the execution. Norton tries admirably to pull all the pieces of this complicated two-hour, 24-minute story together. But he fails at creating a consistent or cohesive film and can’t deliver a completely compelling performance as the film’s lead. The film is average; not bad, but not good either.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *