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Marillion - Brave - The Film CD (album) cover





2.79 | 53 ratings

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2 stars My two-star rating is in line with two preceding collab reviews. When it comes to the live material, I strongly prefer to have a DVD, ie. the live albums have always been of minor importance to me. But I also enjoy having non-live music DVD's that concentrate on the video stuff. However, this attempt at a coherent film approach on MARILLION's excellent concept album Brave (1994) is a notable disappointment. In advance I had three extracts of it on the EMI Singles Collection DVD, and I had no serious reason to think the whole movie wouldn't offer me an interesting, or maybe even - at least to some degree - impressive viewing experience. Now having seen the film just once, I bet it'll take a loooong time before I have any interest to return to it.

Easy Livin hits the nail by saying "Whether or not the film adds anything to the music is questionable". Opposite to him, I do appreciate the album quite a lot. At least I used to. Frankly I haven't listened to it that much in the last ten years. With this background, I lit several candles and prepared to return to my old favourite with the additional visual level. So wrong, so wrong. Instead I should have listened to the CD and let my inner visions pass by in the candle-lit room. (The story itself isn't that complicated that anyone couldn't form his/her own images.) First, I was painfully aware how this film is inferior sonically, compared to the original album. Second, the artistic level of the visual story-telling was pretty poor.

The DVD's back cover says "Brave - The Movie is a fifty-minute concept film directed by cult movie director Richard Stanley. It is Stanley's stark vision of a young life in the 90's inspired by Marillion's album of the same name, which centres around a teenage girl who is found wandering in a state of amnesia on the Severn Bridge, and her consequent search for her past." With such bold words, it's strange that not even the extras lay any light on Stanley. (His filmography includes music videos and horror films, nothing very well-known, I guess.) Seemingly he was just as uninspired as the band in making the film. The main chatracter is fairly well played by Josie Ayers, and it's really her dedicated presence that brings any life to the film.

The clumsy cut-and-paste sections that feature Marillion are luckily brief. At times the black & white cinematography looks good with all the symbolic elements (e.g. 'Hollow Man'), but most of the time the semi-coloured film looks rather dated and over- depressing. Here and there we hear the calm voice of the doctor who encourages the girl to remember what has happened. Even that totally unnecessary feature makes the film inferior to the album. Actually it was more interesting to see the band members chatting -- and in the end, jamming together -- in the 30-minute "Making of" documentary which isn't very suitable for repeated viewings either.

Matti | 2/5 |


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