Every now and again, a movie comes along that reminds you of the power of human creativity. The new independent comedy-drama, Brigsby Bear is one of these. The film centers on James (Kyle Mooney), who due to a unique set of circumstances, suffers from isolation and arrested development. Despite the loneliness of his situation, James finds joy and obsession in the only entertainment he’s ever known, an educational children’s TV show called Brigsby Bear Adventures.
James makes a study of the show, viewing every episode multiple times, every week receiving a new episode to watch. One day though, James’ situation changes drastically, and there are no more new episodes of his favorite program to be had. In his new environment, James soon realizes that he is the only one who has ever heard of the show and that he must continue the story. So, he decides to make a Brigsby Bear movie with his newfound friends!
If that plot synopsis seems a little vague, that’s the intention. The less you know about Brigsby, the better it will play. There are plenty of little narrative and emotional surprises that I’d rather not spoil for you here. Written by Kevin Costello and Kyle Mooney, this film follows a traditional, “Fish out of water” structure. However, the movie’s characters and the concept of Brigsby Bear make it enjoyable, despite its predictability.
Much of the power of the film comes from the cast which includes Greg Kinnear, Mark Hamill, Jane Adams, Matt Walsh and Michaela Watkins. The real star of the show though is Mooney himself; who carries the film wonderfully. Not being very familiar with Mooney’s previous work on SNL, he was a real surprise to me. The movie’s characters help create the charm of the theme of Bear. If you watch this flick and have a creative bone in your body, I believe you’ll appreciate Brigsby Bear. In fact, no matter what your personality, I’d wager you’ll walk out of this movie with your creative juices flowing.
In the difficult times we live in, I think movies like this that reinforce positive creativity are essential. After-all, humans are the only species capable of creation. You may have to go out of your way to see Brigsby Bear as it’s a somewhat limited release.
I highly recommend that you seek this movie out though..After seeing it, I assure you’ll be inspired and feel creative. In my estimation, I think that Brigsby Bear will inspire young movie buffs much like Clerks (1994) and Pulp Fiction (1994) inspired me.
It bears mentioning that Brigsby is also much more accessible than either of the movies referenced above. For better or worse, Brigsby Bear is light on cursing and features no exploding heads.