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Russell Brand in a Featurette from ‘The Tempest’

— by JESSIKA OWENS —

If a chipmunk and a hummingbird mated, and the fetus was fed nothing but a diet of crack and energy drinks, that fetus would grow up to be Mr. Russell Brand.

When asked about Riff Trinculo, his character in “The Tempest,” Brand goes off on some tangents that are funny, and truly in the Brand style.

Brand is all over the place in this featurette and I find it delightful. He is hilarious, I don’t care what anybody says! I know there are some Brand haters out there, but he’s okay in my book. Although I will say, we don’t get much of a glimpse into this reinvention of the classic Shakespearian tale, as Russell leads us on a euphemism laid trail of jokes and stories, half of which I don’t know whether to believe or not!

From the get-go, when asked about Trinculo, Brand discusses that he was named as such because of his fondness for trinkets, anything shiny really. And how can one talk about trinkets without talking about rashes and dermatological skin problems? I literally laughed out loud when Russell leaped from one silly topic to the next. A very creative gentlemen he is. Either that or just a very imaginative gent suffering from a sever case of ADHD, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.


The film in question, “The Tempest,” brings us Julie Taymor’s version of the classic story. Taymor — who is writer, director and producer of the project — changed the gender of the main character from male to female. The magician Prospero is now Prospera. I found this to be an interesting change, because as we all know, women who were accused of witchery were persecuted, so this makes perfect sense to me. Trinculo is often said to be a lower-classed, childish fool of the play.

I am curious to see how Taymor’s version mated with Brand’s energy is going to come into play. I happen to be a big fan of Trinculo’s monologue from the play. Simplicity in Shakespeare form is how I found it read. “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past.” Does that statement make Trinculo a cowardly fool? Maybe, but I think it’s common sense in a time where men needed to be brushed with a barbaric brush. Oh boy, I can hear the “gay” comments coming fast at Brand. Trust me, it’s nothing he hasn’t heard and joked about in the past.

I look forward to watching Brand in this piece, it’s somewhat out of his norm, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. He’s got that accent, it’s just perfect. He might be hyper on an exponential level, but I think he has talent and timing, and in this business, timing is everything. I don’t expect humor on the Brand level we are accustomed to, but I expect humor on an unexpected level. And lest not forget the slew of other cast members that Brand worked with: Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina and Helen Mirren. I’m not a huge fan of period pieces or the overdone Shakespeare interpretations, although “Scotland P.A.” was brilliant, but this is one that I’m actually very interested in seeing.

. . .

Follow Jessika Owens on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessika.

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1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. jim #
    1

    I think he’s okay in small does, but I can’t really take a whole movie of him. Hope he’s good in this one.


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