God lives in a modest apartment in Brussels, Belgium, with his wife and daughter.
He’s a miserable codger with a wife who’s afraid of him and a daughter who hates him. To pass time, he sits at an old computer where he programs laws that dictate how the world works.
God (left) ands his wife and daughter sit at the kitchen table in "The Brand New Testament."
Ever notice how whichever line you stand in at the grocery store, another line moves faster? That’s because God loves tormenting you. And the way the phone rings just as you’re dipping in for a bath? That’s Law No. 2129.
Also, God didn’t exactly send his only son, Jesus, to the world to save humanity ― Jesus was trying to get out from under God’s thumb.
Belgium’s official submission for the upcoming 2016 Academy Awards and a film that screened at the 20th Busan International Film Festival in October, “The Brand New Testament” starts with a great premise and original concept that hooks the audience in.
The action of the movie is centered on God’s daughter. After discovering the office where her father causes the suffering of mankind, she throws a wrench in the system by letting everyone on Earth know exactly when they will die ― anyone who can receive a text message, at least ― then escapes to the outside world to follow in her older brother’s footsteps in gathering her own apostles and writing the Brand New Testament.
The hooks in the audience loosen as the story settles into a repetitive and sometimes forgettable experience that drags until interest is regained near the end as the characters’ death clocks tick down. But the film’s concept alone is enough to keep it from ever becoming boring. Though not quite able to live up to the ambition and potential of the premise, the novelty and tone of the concept make it worth watching.
“The Brand New Testament” opens in theaters locally on Dec. 24.
By Kevin Lee Selzer