Review: Ruben Brandt, Collector

Title: Ruben Brandt, Collector
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Milorad Krstic
Starring: Iván Kamarás, Gabriella Hámori, Zalán Makranczi
Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins

What It Is: An art therapist by the name of Ruben Brandt (Kamarás) specializes in the use of art and performance art to treat all manner of mental illnesses into the kleptomania of stunt woman turned thief Mimi (Hámori) and her band of “patients”. In order to help Ruben get over a compulsory fear instilled in him as a child, the group will steal 13 of the most famous pieces of art in order to “own” his fear. But with a crafty detective named Mike Kowalsky (Makranczi) hot on their tales they may never get to all 13.

What We Think: Speaking narratively this would have probably worked a tad better as a short film. Visually this is undeniably original. Once you get used to the animation style, it grows on you. Looking equal parts expressionism and surrealism. A work of art in motion. Some of the voice acting is slightly stilted but I found Hámori performance as Mimi the best of the lot. Certainly a unique cinematic experience and one I found myself thinking on after it was over. Having said that the story wasn’t for me. Telling it seemed to be the biggest issue. When you cannot tell your story you risk confusing or alienating your audience.

Our Grade: C+, 2-D animation isn’t quite dead yet and for its sake, I hope it continues to evolve as it did here. If the structure were tighter and better told this would be an even more exciting idea. As it stands it merely wastes it’s unique animation on a story that’s a tad boring. I recommend this one for sure and hope Sony Picture Classics will continue to seek out films this original and unflinching.

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