so bad choices ruin a good idea

so bad choices ruin a good idea
so bad choices ruin a good idea
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The idea of ​​an ingenious protagonist creating an artificial companion for a variety of reasons – glory, leisure or solitude – has ancient origins, and has been embraced by the seventh art since the early twentieth century, with films such as The Golem or Frankenstein by James Whale. In this case the figure of the automaton takes on tragic and dark shades, but more recent films, especially in animation, have been able to give lighter stories destined for a audience of childrenhow Big Hero 6 or Ron – An unscheduled friend. There are those who developed this idea in a tragic way, some in a comic way, some in an absolutely bizarre way (Swiss Army Man, even if there it was not a robot but a dead man). And then there is Brian and Charles.

Brian (David Earl) is a handyman from a remote English village; Half a hermit and half an inventor, Charles struggles with loneliness during a harsh winter, and decides to remedy his condition by building a homemade and weird automaton, Charles (Chris Hayward). We are in the field of science fiction, therefore, but set in an exquisitely British setting: the strength of the film is undoubtedly the photography, which portrays vast expanses of green and tumultuous skies in shots of rare beauty.

English is also humor, subtle to the point of being practically transparent. It is a peculiar choice: a somewhat asocial inventor who pulls up a robot from a washing machine seems the perfect opening for a film that can be appreciated even by the little ones, but this is not the case. Brian and Charles it is reflective, gray, rainy: the action is relaxed, made up of small gestures; some would say that nothing happens. In short, the execution of the premise is not exactly something that can excite an audience of children.

The thing would not be a problem if the development of the plot was able to capture the interest of the greatest. Unfortunately, the plot is flat and predictable, so much so that anticipating it would be superfluous: given the premises, you can very well imagine for yourself how such a story can end. The conflict is superficial, and it might just be good for a story of kids, but not for one that features big, big, vaccinated men. Here, this is precisely the original defect of the film: the skeleton of the plot is that of a film for children and with children as protagonists, but a script has grafted onto it that goes on to the sound of English humor and melancholy landscapes.

Certainly it is not a film that you can not want badly: it is made with heart, first of all by the actors, who give excellent interpretations at the expense of a directionless script; the direction of Jim Archer is the direction of a craftsman, but nowadays it is not something to be taken for granted; the humor, which is certainly not for everyone, still manages to reserve some gags of universal significance.

In the field of cinema we often talk about “artistic freedom”, and how it is often crushed by interference from producers and choices dictated by the budget. I don’t know how free Jim Archer and his team have been in making this project, but I’m sure it would have helped someone asking questions like “Who are we making this movie for?” and “What is our goal?”. Alas it did not happen, and the result is a film of the Pixar without all the typical merits of a Pixar film.


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The article is in Italian

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