Saturday, November 2, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: The Brass Teapot

2012, Ramaa Mosley -- download

I am not sure how I found out about this movie; probably via a trailer site. These days I watch more trailers than I do movies. It struck me as an old style indie film, with recognizable but unknown faces (Juno Temple from the terrible Year One and Michael Angarano from Sky High), with a specfic parable plot and a modern, quirky sense of humor. A more Hollywood version would have been adapted (from the original short story, and later short film, by writer Tim Macy) by Diablo Cody and starring Emily Browning & Ben Foster. But I am happy how this one turned out, an enjoyable little romp of questionable moral decisions.

Alice and John are midwest millennials, not very good at keeping their lives working. She is just out of school and flustered she is not immediately employed. He hates his job and it, in turn, hates him back. The money woes are causing marital woes. Enter the brass teapot, a magic artifact that rewards you with cash for hurting yourself or someone else close to you. Alice immediately dispenses with pride, injuring herself and convincing John to do the same, all for an easy buck. Of course, these things never end well.

The teapot is, of course, your typical cursed objet d'art, passed down from unfortunate soul to unfortunate soul through history. As greed dominates & grows, so does the level of pain required to fuel the item. It always eventually leads to the death of someone. Alice falls for this so easily and we find it very easy to dislike her while championing John's love and devotion. He knows things cannot go well but she wants more more more. Add in a mix of others who know about the pot, some with good intentions, most with even more twisted ones, and it is a very odd but predictable movie. But sometimes, especially in parables, predictable is OK.