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The Emperor’s New Clothes



MV5BNjg5NzA5Mzg1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDY2NTM0NTE@__V1__SX1217_SY602_Released: 2015

Directed By: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Russell Brand

Certificate: 15

Since 2013 and his famous interview with Jeremy Paxman comedian turned actor Russell Brand has been on something of a one man political tirade, highlighting the flaws of capitalism and telling us how we need to start a revolution of our mind and spirit.

The first step in the Brand revolution was to begin his own news channel- The Trews: True News on Youtube. The channel consisted of nearly daily videos where Brand would examine a news story and give us his version of events, or as he likes to call it, the truth. The results varying from hilarious and inciteful to flat out delusional. And it is these two opposing poles that pretty much sum up Brand and his politics.

The latest step in Brand’s revolution sees him take on the bankers in the documentary The Emperor’s New Clothes, directed by Michael Winterbotttom. During the course of the movie Brand breaks down and scrutinises free market capitalism, the financial crash of 2008 and non domiciled tax issues. Thanks to the direction of Winterbottom Brand’s often scattershot ideas are collected well and at its best the film does an efficient job of explaining these complicated political ideas in laymen’s terms.

Brand’s documentary is undeniably well intentioned and Brand is clearly passionate about the issues he is tackling, though the irony of a multi millionaire talking about the pitfalls of capitalism is extremely difficult to shake off.

Where the film does seem less focused is when Brand attempts to become a one man version of the BBC3 show The Revolution Will Be Televised. Brand heads out to the houses of bankers who have dodged taxes, he goes into the banks to attempt to ask them questions about the crisis and why there has been no repercussions for them and he drives around the streets with wanted posters with the faces of the bankers all over them. In the end, he gets no results from any of these and at times one can’t help but feel Brand’s more narcissistic personality traits got in the way of him telling what are some very interesting and terrifying facts and figures.

Whilst Brand is certainly no Michael Moore his film is still full of some startling information and when Russell is just allowed to explain these to you with his trademark comic style the film excels, however when Brand’s ego begins to get in the way the film does feel like a strange cross between The Revolution will be Televised and The Trews.

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