Brand new passion

OUTSPOKEN comedian Russell Brand gives rich bankers a serve in his documentary about the growing discrepancy between economic classes.

Teaming with director Michael Winterbottom, known for feature films A Mighty Heart and The Trip, Brand takes a few tips from the Michael Moore oeuvre of documentary filmmaking to make his points about corruption in the top ranks of Britain�s biggest and most powerful banks.

Driving around with a promotional trailer and loudspeaker, Brand takes it upon himself to expose CEOs who have given themselves pay rises and bonuses while other staff such as window washers struggle to make ends meet.

In other stunts, he waits in the lobby for an unscheduled meeting with these people who, obviously, never show up to speak with him.

Brand often makes his points succinctly; he gets a group of school children together, gives one a large imaginary amount of money then everyone else a fraction and asks if it is fair.

Their resounding and collective �no� reflects what we are all thinking, but it seems simplistic.

Perhaps that is his point.

Brand is at times a charming and funny guide through his shenanigans, facts and anecdotes, but at other times there is arrogance to his delivery and persona.

Speeches in front of a white background feels like he is talking at his audience instead of to it.

He also meets with struggling families, holding their hands, letting their children sit on his lap, but it all feels hollow and for show.

However, Brand�s passion is undeniable and sure to prompt a dialogue about these economic injustices, even if we are already acutely aware of them.

The Emperor’s New Clothes (M)

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Russell Brand

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas June 11