By Myles Goldman
A busted bank robbery lands mentally disabled Nick Nikas (Benny Safdie) in Rikers Island, a New York prison known for housing notorious criminals, and it is up to his brother, Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) to help break him out.
“Good Time” did not receive considerable advertisement on television, however; it is available on the Fandango app or website. The title “Good Time” is a bit deceiving. Though the movie’s plot did not permit a good time for the Nikas brothers, the directors Benny and Josh Safdie ensured one for the audience. One moment where Connie sneaks into the ICU of a hospital in Queens due to an injury Nick succumbed to in Rikers built up suspense and made me think-can Connie get Nick out? The expectations I had for Pattinson were low. Having only seen his work in “Twilight,” I expected similar character traits. For example, his fear of emotions which took away from the movie.
However, Edward Cullen is nothing like Connie Nikas. Nikas is boisterous while Cullen is dull to the point where even Pattinson got sick of the role. Safdie’s portrayal of a disabled adult reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio’s role as Arnie Grape in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” due to the character’s semblance. When I was walking out of the movie, I took a moment to reflect on what I saw, the chapped lips and muffed voice of Safdie stressed to the audience that Nikas is deaf.
In addition, Pattinson’s transformation from an Englishman to a New Yorker with his accent and diction throughout the film was impressive. The mood of the film was set in the opening credits as the directors used 80’s electronic music to emphasize the action-packed pacing throughout the movie along with the film’s dark palette. In this case, it highlighted the circumstances that occurred after the robbery. If you haven’t seen “Good Time,” prepare for an emotional journey of defining what brotherhood truly is.
I must say that I am very impressed by the performance of Safdie and Pattinson, there are not many negative things I can say about “Good Time,” as its high points drastically outweigh the lows. “Good Time,” is currently playing at the Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center in Patchogue, New York.