Russell Brand: A Second Coming – Review BFI LFF

When the subject of the film is an unquestionable narcissist both adored and despised by the public and media, it becomes hazy to ascertain the purpose of the documentary if anything past the notion of how great Russell Brand is. Directed by Ondi Timoner, Brand: A Second Coming, documents Russell Brand from birth to current day activist.

As a subject, his history is certainly colourful and very well documented and if anything this documentary just feels a condensed to date biography. There are interviews with friends and a few serious political commentators/journalists, the highlight being Noel Gallagher who injects some much required laughter but overall the countless celebrity meet ups regarding his upcoming comedy tour are fairly vacuous as some of the culture he has decided to fight against. Giving the lack of opposing voices in the piece, the director seems more part of an entourage as opposed as someone from the outside asking serious questions. The film also feels like it is around three hours long, surprisingly it is only a hundred and five minutes long but does feel like one of the longest films I’ve had to endure. The film feels like it lacks autonomy and with the insistent input of material and editing of footage, it certainly is. As someone who appears to be on a mission wanting to be among figures of greatness and enlightenment, Brand appears more as someone repeating ideologies rather than inventing solutions, no matter how noble his quest is. Unfortunately it is a film that preaches to the converted and will be its likely audience.

**

Chris Aitken

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