Home Tech Brian and Charles – Chicago Reader

Brian and Charles – Chicago Reader

Brian and Charles - Chicago Reader

Brian is an eccentric loner living on a dilapidated estate in rural Wales. He spends his days in his workshop improvising inventions that rarely work and nobody asks for or needs them, like a flying grandfather clock that never leaves the ground but does it burst into flames Undeterred, Brian decides to up the ante by building a robot that miraculously comes to life. Charles has a mannequin head, rubber gloves for his hands, and a washing machine torso. But the rest of him is obviously human. His hodgepodge construction clearly describes the disjointedness of the movie he finds himself in.

A crazy quilt pinocchio, wallace and gromit, rain man, and a dozen other movies and books, this is a movie that can’t settle on one tone or approach. Mockumentary one minute, fairy tale the next, it hopes the viewer will embrace characters who are clearly concerned and accept their everyday challenges as sympathetic. The filmmakers mistake cloying sentimentality for real emotion by leaning their elbows on the scales whenever Brian (David Earl) or Charles (Chris Hayward) must be sympathized with in their tribulations. No matter how badly they are teased or slandered, their problems never feel believable because the stakes are high and their eventual triumph is never in less than zero doubt. By the time Brian packs Charles on a train to see the world, I’m long out of town. PG, 90 min.

Wide theatrical release


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