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Branded - A film about advertising that can't even advertise itself well.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Branded 2012Jamie Bradshaw,Aleksandr DuleraynJamie Bradshaw,Aleksandr DuleraynEd Stoppard,Leelee Sobieski,Max Von Sydow, Jeffrey Tambor Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Branded(2012)
 

For starters, for a movie about advertising, this film has no idea how to market what it really is. What you get from the trailer and what you see in the film are completely different experiences. Of course, when you actually watch the film you can see that the filmmakers involved didn’t know what they wanted this film to be in the first place.

In a dystopian future (I didn’t get that from the trailer) in Russia (didn’t get that either) corporate brands and advertising have manipulated man into becoming the most stereotypical of bad consumers. Fat is the new attractive, eating from “The Burger” for every meal is ideal and being controlled by brands is commonplace. The only thing that can destroy the brands… The very same advertising they used to gain their power.

This film is a mess. It never seems to choose what it wants to me. There are moments of comedy, drama, satire and science fiction that don’t mesh well together and are bookended by scenes that always drag just a bit too long and almost never add anything to the story. The numbers of subplots in this is ridiculous and just about all of them are completely inconsequential. The writers take the easiest most cliché approach to what “bad” is and add little in the way of a unique perspective.

The visuals in the movie are not terrible, but there is no sense to why the look the way they do. “The Burger” makes a clown/worm-like creature grow from the back of the characters’ necks as the craving increases. Why a clown? Why not a cow or a hamburger or something similar to the logo? The aesthetics towards the end are fine enough to watch, but by the time the “battle of brands” begins we’ve lost interest and want it to end.
The performance by the likes of Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Max Von Sydow and Jeffrey Tambor are good, but with all the confusing and often conflicting goals of each scene in relation to the last makes their work seem like an equally muddy mess.

Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn (both direct, wrote and produced) should have taken some time during preproduction to choose one genre then go back and polish their script to meet that genre. We aren’t opposed to having drama in our comedy or science fiction in our drama, but make sure they mesh and try not to choose more than two to combine. Then replace meaningless subplots with more content to support the new direction the script would be taking.

This film would have been tolerable if the editing process would have cut it to make it one genre and about 45 minutes long. Take out the filler, take out the drawn out bad drama and maybe aim towards making it funnier. It’s a film with comical characters representing brands encouraging people to consume, for Zod’s sake! Run with it!

Even if the so-called advertising gurus in this film were working on trying to market this film it would fail. Why? Because no matter how good your advertising is the quality of your product will eventually speak for itself.

Trailer:

Official website:
Branded


Credits:
Directed by: Jamie Bradshaw, Aleksandr Dulerayn
Written by: Jamie Bradshaw, Aleksandr Dulerayn
Cast: Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Max Von Sydow, Jeffrey Tambor


Source of the Bitter: JAS

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