Brian and Charles
4 out of 5 stars
Summary: This reimagining of the Frankenstein tale with an injection of the value of friendship finds itself in the rural setting of a township in Wales. Brian Gittins (David Earl) is an inventor who creates whatever comes into his mind, regardless of the ridiculousness of the premise. Within his lonely existence, he scavenges for raw materials while trying to make ends meet by serving as a local repairman. One of his discoveries during his foraging is a mannequin’s head, inspiring him to have a go at making a robot. Despite his efforts, the creature fails to come to life until a thunderstorm whisks across the small community, and suddenly his creation comes to life. The artificial intelligence quickly learns English and is called Charles Petrescu (Chris Hayward). Even though this is a triumph for Brian as an inventor, he quickly realises that he must keep Charles’ existence a secret for the robot’s safety. Still, the new life form does what comes naturally, and his curiosity for the outside world causes him to desire to explore beyond the walls of the humble cottage on the edge of the village.
Review: Interestingly, it is never quite obvious why the reclusive inventor is being filmed, while the whole project is shot in a mockumentary style that does work to the story’s advantage. Between the quirkiness of David Earl’s character and the bizarre appearance of Charles, these characters display an unassuming charm that will draw people into their world. While the premise of the Mary Selley classic is somewhat familiar, this refreshing take taps into the beauty of friendship and provides enough comedy to make it disarmingly endearing. Earl and Hayward wrote the screenplay that capitalises on the beauty and horrors found within the human soul. Yet, create fantastic new characters who bring a humorous and heart-warming element to the classic storyline. Brian and Charles is one of those hidden gems worth discovering and taking some time to laugh at while evaluating our existence within humanity.
Reel Dialogue: Why are humans fascinated with creating new life?
For some, the answer to this question is a means of proving their intelligence; for others, it might exert their power; for many, it is merely a curiosity that must be explored.
One of the answers to this question can be found in the study of the Bible. Based on the premise of the creator God, who made all mankind in his image, it is no wonder God's creation would want to create. This desire manifests itself in art, food, clothing, housing, and even in the sciences. There is a multitude of moral juxtapositions to wrestle through in this consideration of creating new life. Still, the very nature of creating is ingrained in humanity.
The only challenge is that God continues to prove that he is the only one to get it right when it comes to the creation of humanity. So, is the desire to create new life merely a lesson in futility or too hard to deny? Discuss.
“You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You. - Nehemiah 9:6
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