review by Jon
Four friends take a job as chimney sweeps so that they can
spend their days up on the roof where nobody will bother them,
they can lay around drinking and smoking whenever they want,
while at the same time making some money to spend on the cock
fights. Well, it turns out they spend a little too much money
gambling and lose some of their boss’ cash as well. Now
they have to do whatever it takes to make that money back and
get their work finished before he returns at the end of the
This is the first film by writer/director Roland Vranik (Gergely
Pohárnok co-wrote), and I think he needs more practice.
However, this is a movie, like “The
Squid and the Whale” where
I just didn’t see the humor. The audience I was with
started laughing when they guys sat down to watch TV. Pretty
hilarious stuff, I know. The jokes that I did recognize as
attempts at humor didn’t work. The film drags too much
to cultivate such random spurts of wackiness like watching
the goat’s hallucination.
And boy does it drag. The pacing in this film is dreadfully
slow. It clocks in at an already short 80 minutes, but in reality
it should be about ten. The whole storyline plays off like
a bad Role Playing Game side quest as they run around back
and forth between a large cast of ultimately purposeless characters.
They encounter the most insanely stupid obstacles along the
way involving goats, vehicles, girls, hospital visits and more.
What the hell is with the side bar about the son who beats
up his dad? If the film didn’t put on a comedic straight-face,
the whole crazy adventure angle might work. Instead, we’re
left with a poor man’s version of “Dude, Where’s
My Car?” mixed with a hint of “Clerks.”
I only mention the latter because the characters are slightly
melancholy slackers and the film is shot in black and white
for some reason. However, “Black Brush” doesn’t
have the give and take of a good movie like that. In fact,
I couldn’t even get a sense of what the relationships
were like between the four main characters. No attempt was
made to round out the characters, the story or the humor. It
looks like a student film that clings hard to conventional
filmmaking tactics that have long since become tired and obvious.
The movie lacks any type of energy and sucks any potential
enjoyment right out with a cheap cop out ending that makes
what you just watched pointless.
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