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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Brass Teapot


Starring: Juno Temple, Michael Angarano, Alexis Bledel, Alia Shawkat and Bobby Moynihan
Distributor: Koch Media
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 30 September 2013

Alice and john are struggling through life. Alice can’t get a job and John is so bad at his that he is fired, but on a road trip Alice steals a teapot from an antique shop. One day she accidentally hurts herself and the teapot spits out money, intrigued, she harms herself again and more money pops out. Soon the couple are on the way to their first million, but John had already taken the pot onto a television antiques show and now a whole bunch of people want it...

The Brass Teapot (2012 - 1 hr, 37 min, 20 sec) is a black comedy film directed by Ramaa Mosley from a Tim Macy screenplay, who wrote the original short story.

I’m not sure whether it was because I had such low expectations for the film that it actually turned out to be quite enjoyable. The teapot will give them as much money as they like, so long as they hurt themselves, of course the worse the injury the more money they get. The question is how far they will go. Things become more complicated when a couple of Hasidic Jews turn up claiming that the teapot is theirs.

The couple start out small, minor injuries, rough sex, but their agreement to stop at one million dollars does not go as planned as the injuries increase the amount they recoup diminishes. Soon, the couple have to emotionally harm each other to keep going and the love that they once had starts to take on a darker hue. The comedic value of their self-harming feels less comfortable when they discover that they can earn money by causing harm to others.

It’s a cautionary tale distinguishing the difference between people getting what they need is usually preferable to them getting what they want, at any cost. It’s not the first time that this idea has been explored, but there is a refreshing tone to this tale. The indie project is helped by having two lead characters that remain engaging throughout.

Alice (Juno Temple) is the more driven of the two, like Eve she drives John (Michael Angarano) to greater depths, even to the cusp of murder. The two are warned by Dr Ling (Steve Park) that if there is any darkness in their souls that the teapot will exploit it. Out of the two, it is Alice who succumbs to the temptation. If the film has a weakness it’s that as a couple Alice and John are such a cute couple that their fall from grace is initially a little unbelievable and when they do fall, they should have fallen further, but then that would be a very dark film.

The print is clean with options for either a 2.0 stereo or 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. There are no extras.

Overall, it’s a little gem of an independent movie.


Charles Packer

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