Brand New Testament – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
God exists, and he lives in Belgium. And he’s a bit of a jerk… God also has a family, we know his son (J.C.), but he also has a wife (Yolande Moreau) and a daughter Ea (Pili Groyne). This story focuses on Ea, who has become increasingly upset with the way her father treats mankind. God sits in his office making up new rules on his computer (when you get into a bath, the phone will ring; when you’re in line, the other line will move faster) solely to torment the world. One day when God has fallen asleep on the couch watching the hockey game (is this a Belgian film or a Canadian one?) Ea takes his keys, breaks into his office, and locks him out of his computer, but before she locks it, she releases the predetermined “death dates” to everyone on Earth to frustrate her father. To avoid her father’s wrath, or I guess to avoid the “Wrath of God” she escapes to Earth from Heaven (which is a rundown apartment) via the spin cycle of their washing machine…
Once on Earth, Ea sets out with a homeless man as her scribe to find six disciples to add to her big brother’s twelve. With twelve, the disciples were a hockey team (her father’s favourite sport), but now with eighteen, they’re a baseball team which is her mother’s favourite sport. The scribe will write a Brand New Testament and it will be based on the lives of ordinary people. Now that everyone knows when they will die, their lives and how they choose to live the rest of them are drastically altered. Some for better, some for worse. Some sadly, and some humourously. Risks that would never be taken are risked, and friendships that would never have been made are made. Some of them, for life.
Okay, it was good, but it was very French. If you don’t like films like Amélie then you probably won’t like Brand New Testament. The camera work, the lighting, the quirkiness of the characters, the cynicism and the absurdity, all ooze off the screen in a very European way. Along the way we get touching stories about the chosen disciples that go from humourous to darkly sad in a few short frames. Good performances from everyone with touching moments along the way, but the individual stories weren’t quite long enough for me. Overall, it was entertaining, but I think it lacked focus and it wasn’t as carefree as I hoped.
Bottom Line: What would you do if you knew exactly how much time you had left to live?
Posted on 17-07-02, in 3 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Benoît Poelvoorde, Brand New Testament, Catherine Deneuve, foreign film, Jaco Van Dormael, Pili Groyne, Yolande Moreau. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.