Good Time (2017)

by British Film Critic

Watching this film for the first time in early 2018 was an unforgettable experience, as it was essentially my first notable exposure to an indie film – the level of experimentalism, originality and simplicity to the film genuinely played a significant role in my current appreciation for film as a whole. Admittedly, there was a level of nostalgia going into this film for a second time, but, whilst it’s impact was not as profound, it still holds up very well as a very gruelling and uncomfortable crime drama, serving first and foremost as a stoic yet well realised character study of Robert Pattinson’s Connie.

Undoubtedly, this film is elevated by Pattinson’s terrifying, vacant and diverse performance – we witness this sociopath go deeper and deeper into his own psyche, and question how far he is willing to go for his own personal gain, exploiting and manipulating the goodwill of those around him in order to satisfy his own disturbed, selfish needs. Whilst his performance is clearly the focal point of the film, and the best element of it, Benny Safdie’s performance is also excellent and really emotionally powerful in the moments he is present, idiosyncratically capturing the developmentally disabled brother Nick.

The Safdie Brothers’ direction of the film is pretty spectacular, really capturing the essence of a gritty crime drama, blending seamlessly with the brutal nature of the subject matter, through very intimate close-ups allowing for an unrelenting front-row seat to the depth of Connie’s sociopathy, a heavily synth based soundtrack, impressive cinematography and use of colour, and cut-throat pacing, making a somewhat simple film all the more adversely entertaining. However, despite the relative simplicity of the story, there is an underlying commentary between the relationship between good and bad, selflessness and selfishness and the pure and the damned, as is phrased by Iggy Pop as the credits roll.

In conclusion, Good Time delivers a thoroughly thrilling and overtly disconcerting crime drama that absolutely makes up for its shortcomings in direction, performances and writing.