Run time: 90 mins
Jim Archer’s directorial debut is a heart-warming tale of an oddball inventor’s bond with his animatronic alter ego.
Brian and Charles first emerged as a short in 2017, written by David Earl and Chris Haywood. Pals of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, their combination of caustic wit with kooky, introspective characters was familiarly British yet refreshingly inspired. Its feature-length extension by no means dilutes its charm.
With a mockumentary approach, it centres upon Brian: living alone in a decrepit farmhouse in the Welsh countryside, he whiles away his time constructing a number of quirky inventions – an egg-belt, a pinecone bag, and a flying bicycle. When he stumbles across a fly-tipped mannequin head and a washing machine it prompts his most ambitious idea to date: to build his very own robot. The real challenges in his project lie not in creating the animatron, however, but in looking after him.
Though the overall premise sounds simple, it’s not a film to be underestimated in its effect. It’s got all the car chases of an action film, the meet-cutes of a romcom, and the emotional depth of any family drama. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be endlessly charmed.