Even if you can’t stand the sight of Essex’s greasy Jesus, Russell Brand, you might warm to this tub-thumping political doc that he’s made with director Michael Winterbottom.
Brand’s target is capitalism, and specifically wage inequality, corporate tax avoidance and regressive taxation. Earnest, jokey and loud, the film is a lot like Brand. Sometimes he’s hyper-talking to camera, sometimes he’s meeting folk at the sharp end and sometimes he’s pranking around, Michael Moore-style.
‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is light on economics (but not threadbare) and heavy on real experience, meaning we meet cleaners, schoolkids, factory workers and more. And Brand is a winning – cuddly even – bridge between his film’s ideology and the wider world. Thankfully, his recent ‘don’t bother to vote’ mantra is almost entirely drowned out here in favour of a get-up-stand-up message.
Interestingly, nothing even vaguely party political passes Brand’s lips, but the filmmakers cut in mocking clips of David Cameron and George Osborne. So even if Miliband is conspicuous by his absence, the underlying message of Brand’s film is clear, given the timing of its release: this government needs kicking out, pronto.