I sat through The Hours and Times and tried and tried (unsuccessfully) to picture that bug-eyed moper as Brian.
A comment I made to someone in March 2006:
The main thing I liked about that film was that, if a film really HAD to be made of that (mythical?) encounter, it was done with artistry and left Brian with his dignity quite intact.
The main thing I did not like about that film is - the same thing I complain about every depiction of Brian, and almost everything that's written about him - that they never show the other half of the man, the delightfully funny, wickedly witty side. The part he felt improper to show the general public because Mr. Epstein was the most important business facet of the Beatle phenomenon. However, it's well known among his friends that, within the same day, he shifted from outrageously funny, to disciplined and serious, to cold and unapproachable, and then to cuddly and lovable quite often - and in a rather unpredictable fashion, to say the least.
I so wish they had included some reality in that film. It would have made them seem that much more human. I feel that the light side of Brian should have been shown, to let more people identify with him. There was plenty of time and space in the film to have done so.
Because of that omission, The Hours and Times fails in being a true character study, and what's most unfortunate is the way it seems to insist to viewers that this WAS the essence of their characters at all times. Since in fact the movie only depicted their personalities partially, Münch should have found a way to let his viewers realize this. He gives a false impression that could have easily been rectified with a minimum of care.
Another reply I made to a commenter in February 2006:
I do hope you don't think Brian was anything like that! David Angus' mannerisms, inflections, just everything, didn't show what Bri was like at all. I'm curious as to how much real Brian Epstein have you seen on video before you saw The Hours and Times? Please don't think our Eppy was like Angus makes him out to be! And don't think he was like how Münch wrote him up to be.
And the voice, the accent, even the way he expressed his thoughts -- wrong, wrong, wrong!
How depressing, realizing that all over the world people actually think Brian was like Angus played him. Eww.
If you love the Brian in the movie, then you only love the morose character that was invented to be Brian. The movie didn't show them as they really were in Spain: laughing uproariously, having the freedom to traipse from bar to bar, arms over each other's shoulders, without the public eye upon them.
There are SO many discrepancies, but one I think of right away is that Angus played him so heavy -- Brian had a lightness, an innocence, almost like part of him never grew up. John loved to make him giggle at inappropriate times, so Brian had to always guard against that, so the public never saw it! (Although I do have a very tiny audio example of that.) And after Brian died, John said the main thing about him was that he was lovable.
Also, his wit, his humor was more than a match to any of his boys. He was irreverent in private, he'd scoff and satirize any religion, any sexual subject, anything was a likely target. But Brian knew when to shut up, and what the consequences might be if he mouthed off in the wrong company ... unlike John.
In public he tightly held himself in, but managed to still convey the twinkle (George referred to him as "Brian Uptight" because he couldn't totally be himself unless away from people); with friends he was a bit giggly, bubbly. Even in public Brian was nothing like Angus portrays. Angus didn't even know how Brian handled his professional demeanor.
That's another question I'd like to ask Nat Weiss. Did Angus get Brian right in ANY way? Perhaps only that we get the feeling he longed for John -- that's all.
Part of Brian's "never grew up" quality is evident in his "temper tantrums" and stubbornness in decisions and in sharing. I saw nothing of his petulance in that film. With Brian, the very next moment after a hissy fit, he had the gift of dissipating your resentment with his exquisitely charming words and expressions. Then, the very next moment after that, he could be the most mature, wisest intellectual you ever saw. Chameleon Man.
Angus played him one-dimensional.
Angus captured nothing of anything Brian.
Most of the blame, I think, must be put on the producer of The Hours and Times.
*sigh* Perhaps Rex Makin was right.