Release Date: September 7, 2012
Cast: Ed Stoppard (Misha), Leelee Sobieski (Abby), Jeffrey Tambor (Bob)
Branded has multiple meanings of being branded. The movie opens up to a small boy in Russia being struck by lightning. The boy, Misha, is okay and looks up to the sky and the stars turn into a cow head that looks at him. In the following scenes you see many different names of people of history like Joan of Arc, Alexander The Great, Socrates and Julius Caesar with the tagline “All of these usual people heard a voice. All of them saw things others couldn’t see. All of them changed the world”. So this little boy, Misha, has been “Branded” for greatness. Second Meaning still to come.
This is an movie entirely about marketing and advertising. Not exactly the most exciting topic to base a movie on. Branded is shot in traditional movie fashion but also has some documentary style shots that explain Misha’s backstory. The story takes a weird turn when you see a meeting between fast food companies and a marketing guru. In this scene the marketing guru tells the fast food group fast food is dying and won’t survive with the traditional methods. He asks “how far are you willing to go?” The whole basis of the movie starts here. An CIA agent approaches Misha to work for a legitimate advertising company in Russia created by the CIA. His job is to report what he sees from the clients of the company.
This movie is everywhere in story and is very hard to talk about. Where do you start? How do you explain it? You have politics, religion, a love story, social controversy and a passage of time for a number of years later.
Misha has been gifted the power of advertising. What a dumb power? With this power he has the ability to influence the masses. Misha meets Abby and creates a weight loss by surgery reality show. What happens is the female participant is rendered into a coma during the surgery. This was all planned out by the powers that be (marketing guru from fast food meeting). The outrage is now spreading across Russia. The social controversy is what was wrong with the girl while she was a more heavy set figure? So the nation starts going into a state of mind “be yourself, you are beautiful”. So after this whole debacle Misha leaves to solitude in a remote part of the country.
Number of years later Abby finds Misha and takes him back to the city, after he performed a religious ceremony he had a dream about the day before. Mark of the Red Cow or something like that. So that’s where the cow head in beginning of the movie comes from. Now in the city and after the ceremony Misha is now awake with a new found power. He sees brands.
The second meaning of Branded is now here. Misha sees brands in the forms of little monsters that attach to people. Bigger the desire for the brand bigger the monster. As the monster gets bigger and the desire is met the monster detaches itself to join a bigger collective monster brand hanging out above the local store where the brand is bought. I told you this movie was everywhere. You are essentially branded like a cow by brands because they now own you. This ill branding has created a disease with no cure and no symptoms, death strikes at random. Misha’s purpose is to cure the world of this branding disease.
The solution is for Misha to use his power of advertising to have brands attack each other. The monsters that are brands are hatching into monsters that can attack each other. Every time a brand is defeated the company is closed in real time. It is pretty sweet to see the different brands attacking each other. These are all knockoff brands like Yepple and GiantSoft but the logos closely resembles the real logos of the companies they are representing.
If you look around the net you will see many people talking bad of the movie. It’s not exactly something you want to watch during a party but if you liked watching the documentary on Wal-mart then you will enjoy this movie. Branded makes people think about their real lives and thus the bad reviews. People don’t want to think about the reason why they buy the new iPhone every year. It raises a huge problem in society, being Slaves to Brands. How many people do you know buy name brand cereal when the cheaper cereal comes in greater amounts and is most likely packaged in the same facility as the name brands? I use to work at a Milk Facility and let me tell you the name brand and the knockoff cheaper brand is the same exact thing. After hearing that does it change your mind on which product to buy? Probably not. Self reflection is a powerful feature in the world.
Branded is not a movie you need to go out and buy. It actually is something you might want to watch once and move on. Some parts drive you nuts because it has mysteriously long gaps in between plot points that explain nothing confusing the viewer. There were times when I wanted to stop watching so I wouldn’t blame someone else for not watching the entire thing. This is a RENT for when you are in a mood for a slower feature.