Brand gets rise out of bankers

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

OUT­SPO­KEN co­me­dian Rus­sell Brand gives rich bankers a serve in his doc­u­men­tary about the grow­ing dis­crep­ancy be­tween eco­nomic classes.

Team­ing with direc­tor Michael Win­ter­bot­tom, known for fea­ture films A Mighty Heart and The Trip, Brand takes a few tips from the Michael Moore oeu­vre of doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ing to make his points about cor­rup­tion in the top ranks of Bri­tain’s big­gest and most pow­er­ful banks.

Driv­ing around with a pro­mo­tional trailer and loud­speaker, Brand takes it upon him­self to ex­pose CEOs who have given them­selves pay rises and bonuses while other staff such as win­dow wash­ers strug­gle to make ends meet.

In other stunts, he waits in the lobby for an un­sched­uled meet­ing with th­ese peo­ple who, ob­vi­ously, never show up to speak with him.

Brand of­ten makes his points suc­cinctly; he gets a group of school­child­ren to­gether, gives one a large imag­i­nary amount of money then ev­ery­one else a frac­tion and asks if it is fair.

Their re­sound­ing and col­lec­tive “no” re­flects what we are all think­ing, but it seems sim­plis­tic. Per­haps that is his point. Brand is at times a charm­ing and funny guide through his shenani­gans, facts and anec­dotes, but at other times there is ar­ro­gance to his de­liv­ery and per­sona.

Speeches in front of a white back­ground feel like he is talk­ing at his au­di­ence in­stead of to it.

He also meets strug­gling fam­i­lies, hold­ing their hands, let­ting their chil­dren sit on his lap, but it all feels hol­low and for show. How­ever, Brand’s pas­sion is un­de­ni­able and sure to prompt a dia­logue about th­ese eco­nomic in­jus­tices.

Rus­sell Brand tak­ing on the au­thor­i­ties.

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