This was a movie I had wanted to see the first time I saw the movie poster. But then it did’t come to our theaters so I had to wait for the video. I’m really glad that I did.
Honestly, if I wasn’t trying to do a movie a day I may have turned it off. The beginning is sooooo slllllllow, not to mention a bit confusing. But it gets better and it does make some pretty decent philosophical points. It’s just a little dry in doing so. But maybe I’m just used to how Hollywood would’ve played this out and am unfamiliar with Russian movie pacing.
Branded is the story of Misha (Ed Stoppard), a Russian boy who comes of age during the break up of the Soviet Union. Now with the new influx of free-market goods from the West, Misha realizes that instead of using his History degree he is more suited, talented even, for the field of Marketing. First starting with his own small start-up firm then being hired by Best Solutions, headed by Bob (Jeffrey Tambor). And while he’s good at what he does you can tell he’s starting to burn out. That’s when he meets Bob’s niece Abby (Leelee Sobieski) who is also interested in marketing but wanting to be a producer.
Together, they produce a show that looks a lot like Extreme Makeover (they thinly veil over a lot of american products in the movie) which becomes a huge success, until something tragic happens. This sends the show and their live in a tailspin. But was it just a simple accident or the work of something more sinister?
Like I said this movie is slow but if you make it to the point where it seems that Misha has completely lost his mind, well it gets better after that. Not better as in this is the best movie ever. More in the it’s still slow but now it’s interesting and I think I can make it to the end. It’s got a pretty decent message and how it’s illustrated in the later parts of the movie is interesting. But I’ve seen much better examples. I rarely hope for a Hollywood remake but I think in the right hands this concept could be really good.