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Review - Brigsby Bear

By midlandsmovies, Dec 17 2017 04:35PM

Brigsby Bear (2017) Dir. Dave McCary

Whatever your bug bears – Trump, Brexit, you name it – 2017 has already had its fair share of cynicism and with endless hostility in real life and on the internet, it’s easy to become pessimistic and bitter with the things around us. Which is why Brigsby Bear’s humanity is like a soothing tonic after wading through this year’s miseries!

Kyle Mooney plays James Pope, a man obsessed with a children’s show called Brigsby Bear which is akin to Barney the Dinosaur or Seasame Street. This one imaginative TV series is his sole focus before he is taken by the police from his bunker-like “home”. He is subsequently informed by the authorities that he was snatched as a baby, Ted and April Mitchum are not actually his real parents and that the Brigsby show was in fact creation by his ‘false-father’ Ted (a great support role from Mark Hamill).

As he is returned to live with his birth mum and dad, as well as his sister Aubrey, the awkward man-boy James struggles to integrate back into regular society. With a lifetime of obsession over the fictional Brigsby still bearing down on him, he fails to mix with the young partying adults around him but Mooney adds a great sympathy to what could be a cringe worthy character.

However, a newly formed friendship with Aubrey’s friend Spencer leads to a plan to complete the unfinished series using props from Detective Vogel (Greg Kinnear) who confiscated them during the arrest.

The film is full of life, passion and creativity and you can’t help but warm to James’ pure ambitions. Striving to overcome his social embarrassment, we root for the tongue-tied and self-conscious James as his untainted view on the world and love for the simpler things pull together those around him.

Some may find the film too saccharine or sentimental to truly achieve lofty cinematic heights but it is the simplicity of the tale, the characters and James’ aspiration that are its winning traits. As the fictional film they’re making spirals out of control, the low budget nature of their endeavours clearly reflect the filmmakers’ own passions and every positive ounce of that is on screen.

Good-natured without being drippy, Brigsby Bear invokes the best parts of child-like innocence and exalts the benefits of simplicity in order to find the simple joys in an ever confusing world. Brilliant.


Midlands Movies Mike

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