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Forgiveness reigns in oddball comedy ‘Brigsby Bear’

★★★☆

Brigsby Bear tells the tale of a meek, under-exposed young captive confronting an unadulterated society for the first time. James, played by Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney, is an avid admirer of the child adventure TV series Brigsby Bear and nothing else – it’s undying, yet there’s a witch’s cauldron babbling away behind the door.
 
James’ life appears comfortable whilst primitive and his captors are protective. Yet, the satanic morale whereby friendliness is your greatest ally has James coiled up in a cul-de-sac. His superfluous exposure to Brigsby Bear has him brainwashed and under the guise of faux-parents, Ted and April, James remains weak and naïve barring radical intervention.
 
Nevertheless, law enforcement swoops into James’ horror. Suddenly he’s been criminalised. But for what? Hours later, reality rears its head and James is forced to catch up. He’s unconscious to the freedom as the Brigsby Bear curse hugs tight, but he now has an opportunity.
 
For weeks following his release, James suffers under life’s constraints – his biological parents, Louise and Greg, are loving but ignorant and his sister, Aubrey, doesn’t want anything to do with him. Speech is ill-timed, misdirected and predominantly derived from the gridlocked Brigsby belt around his waist.
 
Just when it seems Brigsby Bear is James’ greatest enemy, it becomes his closest companion. In the original series, Brigsby Bear is relentless in his pursuit to defeat the demonic Sun Snatcher, who threatens to destroy him and his friends. James shares those traits of perseverance and resilience and suddenly people are clinging on.
 
But the Brigsby Bear thrust never ceases and with James escaping his imprisonment the production continues. Nearly the entire cast is enlisted to finish off James’ dream and the first ever Brigsby Bear film comes together.
 
Culminating in a cushy ending where James’ fantasy comes to life, Brigsby Bear is an undemanding comedy which challenges the malevolent reality of child abduction without loathing it. It edifies the profitability of embracing the future not bludgeoning the past, compelling viewers to forgive the diabolism of Ted and April and move on.
 
Brigsby Bear is a celebration of kindness and hospitality without being unpredictable or a test; a testament to the verse, ‘if he can do it, why can’t I’.