- 1 hr 53 min
Bloom is a 2003 Irish drama film that explores the themes of love, loss, and the search for meaning. Directed by Sean Walsh, the film is based on James Joyce's novel Ulysses, widely regarded as one of the most important and influential works of modernist literature. Stephen Rea plays Leopold Bloom, a middle-aged Jewish advertising canvasser living in Dublin, Ireland. The film follows Bloom over the course of a single day - June 16, 1904 - as he navigates the city and contemplates his place in the world. On his journey, Bloom encounters a diverse cast of characters, including his fellow canvasser Simon Dedalus (Hugh O'Conor), a young medical student named Stephen Dedalus (played by the director's brother, Alan Walsh), and Molly Bloom (Angeline Ball), Leopold's beautiful and unfaithful wife.
The film is divided into several chapters, each of which corresponds to a chapter of Joyce's novel. Through a series of flashbacks, dream sequences, and stream-of-consciousness narration, the film explores Bloom's memories, fears, and desires. We learn about his troubled marriage to Molly, his complicated relationship with his absent son, and his conflicted feelings about his Jewish identity.
At its heart, Bloom is a meditation on the nature of love and the human condition. As Bloom wanders through the streets of Dublin, we see glimpses of a city in turmoil - a place marked by poverty, political unrest, and religious conflict. Yet amidst all this chaos, Bloom finds moments of beauty and connection. He takes pleasure in the simple things, like the taste of a fresh lemon or the sound of a bird singing in a tree. And he seeks out moments of intimacy, whether it be through a chance encounter with a sympathetic stranger or a fleeting exchange with a loved one.
One of the film's standout scenes takes place in a public restroom, where Bloom has a chance encounter with a young sailor named Garryowen. The two men engage in a flirtatious conversation, during which Bloom experiences a moment of profound connection with another human being. The scene is a testament to Rea's skill as an actor, as he conveys a complex mix of emotions - desire, vulnerability, loneliness - with just a few gestures and expressions.
Another memorable sequence takes place in a brothel, where Bloom goes to find Stephen Dedalus. As he wanders through the dimly lit rooms, he is confronted with a series of sexualized images and sounds. Yet amidst all this depravity, he finds moments of unexpected tenderness - like the glimpse of a mother nursing her baby in a nearby room. The scene is a powerful commentary on the interplay between sexuality and intimacy, and the ways in which they can coexist in the most unlikely of places.
Overall, Bloom is a challenging but rewarding film. It requires patience and intellectual curiosity on the part of the viewer, as it delves into complex literary themes and asks difficult questions about the human experience. But for those willing to engage with it on its own terms, it offers a rich and rewarding viewing experience. Rea's nuanced performance and Walsh's careful direction combine to create a film that is both thoughtful and deeply moving, a testament to the enduring power of Joyce's novel and the transformative potential of cinema.
Bloom is a 2005 romance movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5.