From the film’s IMDB.com page citation:
“Five military veterans, best friends since childhood, gather together to support their troubled host, and the metaphoric ghosts of their past become all-too-literal.”
It’s been said that each of us – no matter who we are or where we come from – carries a measure of secrets through our respective lives and into our respective graves.
This isn’t meant to imply – in any way – that all of us have lived lives of ill repute. Rather, it’s just an acceptance that each of us only knows whatever good, bad, and ugly thoughts we might harbor in our heart of hearts. Hopes and dreams might help shape who we are; but there are things that occur none of us wish to remember so vividly that we’d share it again and again with those we meet on life’s journey. Not every secret need be so monumental that it leads to therapy, and not every undisclosed and unexplored passion need be so detrimental that it causes a life to collapse.
Still, there are times – especially when movers and shakers find themselves at a crossroads – that men and women have done things they regret, and some of the best screen and stage dramas have sought to explore the lengths to which ordinary people might seek extraordinary answers. This is the territory wherein Brooklyn 45 firmly posits itself: five friends are drawn together into a ‘locked box’ style mystery – not all that unlike to the better works of Agatha Christie – wherein agents of the supernatural are Hell bent to see bad deeds exposed – no matter the cost – and wrongs righted even at the expense of everyone’s immortal soul … if you believe in that sort of thing.
That’s what makes Brooklyn 45 so compelling.
Each of its character – the unwavering military officer, the faithful soldier, the civil servant, the master interrogator, etc. – have served purposes that have led them to conclude that that which exists on our side of the existential curtain is already enough to scare one silly. They’ve seen enough – they’ve experienced enough – that their world views have already been shaped, and they’re well enough on their way through life to accept reality as face value, to never question if there’s anything more to being. Packaging these perspectives against the backdrop of the supernatural wherein an entity they may or may not be familiar with seeks a rather dark outcome – the death of a woman who may or may not be innocent – is a fabulous foundation upon which to build a haunted house, and that’s exactly what writer/director Ted Geoghegan has done.
In fact, my only parting disappointment with Brooklyn 45 was the way that the story kinda/sorta leaves me hanging in the last reel. The film spent so much quality time asking the significant questions – who are we, what happens after we’re gone, and several other perspectives all relating to the spiritual self – but it never really supplied an honest answer as it applies to the identity of the abducted Hilde. Was she a spy? Was she a killer? There were suggestions, but … ? Could she have been the cause of so much angst? And – even if she was – what harm did she truly achieve, if any? Leaving such a hook unanswered gives audiences the suggestion that, alas, we can never find ultimate truth, implying that maybe we’re best of accepting our current place in the universe.
If that’s the case, then why tell this story?
And … isn’t it more fun to always peek beyond the veil?
Brooklyn 45 (2023) was produced by Divide/Conquer, Hangar 18 Media, PurpleDOG, and a few other participants. (A full list can be found on IMDB.com, for those interested in that sort of detail.) A search of Google.com asserts that the film will be available via streaming on June 9, 2023. As for the technical specifications? Though I’m no trained video expert, I found the picture’s sights and sounds to be exceptional from start-to-finish. Lastly, as this was entirely a streaming experience for me, there are no special features to consider.
Brooklyn 45 (2023) is a fabulous ensemble piece that digs deep into not only identity politics and the questions of self but rather deftly introduces its Horror elements – albeit lightly – so seamlessly that I suspect many might not see them coming. Its narrative twists and turns likely make the viewer invest in the experience – maybe even be afraid to look away – for fear of missing something small, trivial, or otherwise insignificant that might prove its all little more than a bit of innocent stagecraft. Rest assured: it’s not, and – yes, yes, and yes – blood will be spilled before all is said and done. Sometimes grim but always vivid, this exceptional little drama deserves your undivided attention.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at writer/director Ted Geoghegan provided me with complimentary streaming access to view Brooklyn 45 (2023) by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review. His contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.