Brian and Charles Plot Synopsis
Director Jim Archer’s offbeat comedy stars the movie’s co-writers David Earl and Chris Hayward as the odd couple pairing of the title.
Earl stars as Brian Gittins, a lonely inventor in rural Wales who spends his days creating quirky contraptions that he hopes will one day improve his fortunes. Sadly, his creations, including a ‘flying’ cuckoo clock that he thinks will benefit his neighbours when they want to know the time, rarely behave as they are supposed to.
But then Brian creates Charles (Hayward), a 7-foot robot made out of a washing machine, a mannequin head, and a few other bits and pieces. Unsurprisingly, the robot doesn’t function – Brian is far from being a robotics engineer – but one night during a thunderstorm, Charles miraculously comes to life.
It’s not long before Brian and Charles become firm friends. But when Charles becomes bored of life in Wales, he tells Brian that he wants to leave the rickety old farmhouse that his creator lives in and move to pastures new.
So, do Brian and Charles stay together? Or do they part company at the end of the movie? Let’s take a closer look:
Why does Charles want to leave Brian?
Charles is happy with his life initially and enjoys spending time with Brian. The two play darts together, boil cabbages and watch TV. But the inquisitive robot soon realises that the world is bigger than the acre of ground that he has become accustomed to after watching travel shows on the television.
Charles becomes obsessed with Honolulu (or as he calls it, Hono-loop-loop) and tells Brian that he wants to go there so he can do a Hula dance on the beach.
Brian tries to sway Charles away from the idea and to keep his robot friend happy, he drives Charles into town to give him a wider glimpse of the outside world.
Unfortunately, this has serious repercussions for the two friends when they are sighted by the teenage daughters of Eddie Tommington (Jamie Michie), a local bully who terrorizes the local neighbourhood with his awful family.
What does Eddie do?
After hearing about the robot from his daughters, Eddie pays Brian a visit. He tells Brian that he wants the robot for himself and when he is told that he can’t have it, Eddie assaults Brian by pushing him to the ground.
Eddie and his brattish daughters leave but the next day Brian returns home from work to find his front door off its hinges. He realises that Charles has gone and has presumably been taken by Eddie.
What does Brian do?
Brian isn’t about to say goodbye to his robot friend. Together with Hazel, a local woman that he has become friendly with, Brian travels to Eddie’s farm to retrieve Charles from the fearsome bully.
After meeting with Eddie’s mean-spirited wife, Brian finds Charles wrapped up in chains on the farm. When he tells Eddie that he would like his robot back, Eddie refuses. He then tells Brian that he has plans for Charles; plans that will see Brian’s friend come to a horrible end.
What does Eddie intend to do with Charles?
Every year, Eddie throws a bonfire party for the local community. This year, he has special plans for the bonfire and they involve Charles.
As you can probably guess, Eddie intends to burn poor Charles in the bonfire!
Brian is understandably horrified by this and after leaving Charles in the hands of the cruel farmer, he heads home with Hazel to come up with a plan to save his tin-pot friend.
Does Brian save Charles from a fiery demise?
On the night of the bonfire, the local residents assemble at Eddie’s party.
Brian and Hazel turn up too and in the cover of darkness, they manage to pull Charles from the bonfire before he catches fire.
They load him in the back of Brian’s truck but when they are making their getaway, Eddie sees them and gives chase.
When Eddie catches up with them, he is his usual bullying self and threatens Brian and Hazel.
But this time, he is about to get his comeuppance. Some of the local townsfolk arrive and they tell Eddie they are sick of his thieving and bullying ways. This is of little concern to Eddie but when he tries to make a move on Brian and Charles, the inventor attacks him with his latest invention: a cabbage gun.
After being bombarded with cabbages, Eddie leaves, and it can be assumed that the town is now safe from the nasty thug and his equally nasty family.
Do Brian and Charles remain together?
Brian may have saved his friend from a horrible death but they are still not destined to remain together.
Brian accepts that Charles has an adventurous spirit and buys him a travel ticket that will give him the opportunity to see the world.
The movie ends with Brian and Hazel waving goodbye to Charles as he boards a train. During the credits scene, we see pictures of Charles at the various landmarks and cities that he has visited. One of these places is Honolulu where Charles’s Hula dancing dreams come true.
We don’t know if Brian and Charles ever meet again but as Brian has formed a relationship with Hazel, we know that he won’t be the lonely figure that we met at the beginning of the movie.
Read More: Brian and Charles Movie Review