It’s nice when something is pretty…but it doesn’t always make up for crazy…
Ruben Brandt, Collector is certainly a film with some genuine potential as it all makes for an artistically fascinating, eye popping affair but it doesn’t excuse a fairly goofy narrative that just doesn’t go anywhere.
Ruben Brandt, a famous psychotherapist, is forced to steal 13 paintings from the world’s renowned museums and private collections to prevent his suffering from terrible nightmares he has as a result of subliminal messaging he received as a child. Accompanied by his four patients, he and his band of thieves strike regularly and with great success. The Collector quickly becomes the most wanted criminal in the world. Gangsters and head hunters chase him around the world while the reward for his capture keeps rising, approaching a hundred million dollars. A cartel of insurance companies entrusts Mike Kowalski, a private detective and leading expert on art theft, to solve the Collector Case.
While there is some genuine talent and legitimate wit inside of what Ruben Brandt, Collector is trying to do it is weighed down by a narrative that’s just kind of silly and never creates any kind of emotional weight.
Writer/Director Milorad Krstić has seemingly had a wonderful career as a multi-media and multi-platform type of artist, but a filmmaker he is ultimately not. Yes he does have a good sense of framing and how to follow action with an animation style that is unquestionably on point, but it all feels far too hollow. Style just reigns supreme over substance as the characters never really feel fleshed out or all that engaging. It feels like Krstić is more determined to distract and wow us with pop culture references and sly visuals nods to films and paintings from years gone by rather than giving us a legit narrative to get behind. There’s nothing wrong with telling stories visually, but without a strong narrative (or even one that allows us to fill in the blanks on our own) your film is nothing more than an experimental bauble, all be it a pretty one.
Thank goodness there were no actual recognizable actors doing any of the voice work in this animated feature as that would have been incredibly distracting as it all played out.
Ultimately, Ruben Brandt, Collector works as a piece of art and should ultimately be experienced as such as it is a sumptuous visual delight, but the imbalance of the style simply overwhelming the substance makes this a questionable piece of narrative cinema.
- Release Date: 3/1/2019