Brian And Charles (2022)
It was about time David Earl had his day in the sun. It's been a while coming, but here we are. Writer and Performer extraordinaire, this feature length version of the 2017 short of the same name is directed again by Jim Archer.
Also starring Chris Hayward, this mostly two-hander is exquisite, delightful and endearing. Funny too, which is just as well, as with a change or two to the script and a more ominous tone, this could have been a much darker experience than it ended up being.
There is the unavoidable Frankenstein references all over the place, as Brian cobbles together the right parts from his invention shed to create this seemingly sentient, feeling thing. As Charles learns more and more about this new world to which he has been unceremoniously introduced, we see his progression and social evolution, as does Brian, morphing from inventor to role of father.
As a character study on loneliness, it is quite inspired and delicately considered. Companionship is very important to this depressed man, skulking on his own in his cottage in the middle of nowhere. So much so that when his true light-bulb moment occurs, it is the inspiration of friendship that leads to success.
Despite being his secret, Brian relents and allows Charles to leave the house and into town, where they come across the locals, some of whom are more than just curious about this oddity in their wake.
At ninety minutes, this charming flirtatious thing will fly by without you noticing, chock full of character, subtle ingenuity and even a little romance thrown in. Coming as it does from a short, the story can only be as long as the number of ideas you care to show about what is essentially the same embryonic notion. Brian's sphere of influence is such that there is very little for Charles to learn from him, but because of the same reason, the opportunity for adventure is somewhat limited.
This a good thing and we should be grateful, god forbid we get 'Charles Takes Manhattan' next, as it just wouldn't be the same.