Saturday, 18 April 2015

Film Review - Broken Horses

Wild Horses

Film: Broken Horses
Cast: Chris Marquette, Anton Yelchin, Vincent D'Onofrio
Directed by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Duration: 1 hr 47 mins
Rating: * * *

Producer Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra takes a plunge in the west with Broken Horses, an English adaptation of his 1989 hit Parinda. The result is a mixed bag, some of it is satisfying while the rest doesn’t quite rise above the ordinary at times. Set on the U.S.- Mexico border, he along with co-writer Abhijat Joshi serves us a modern day western .

The prologue tells us about the two brothers, Bud (Chris Marquette) and Jake (Anton Yelchin, Chekov from the rebooted Star Trek) with the former being very protective about his younger sibling, their father was gunned down by an unknown person. Several years later, Jake had become a violinist in New York while the elder brother has joined a gang lead by Hench (Vincent D'Onofrio) who manipulates him into committing crimes.

Just before his wedding Jake visits his brother and there he learns about his brothers nefarious activities. In the crossfire, he himself gets caught. Oddly enough, we never learn nor understand why he never replies to any of his fiancées and ends up becoming a one track pony.

There are no surprises in the story unless you count Buster Keaton’s The General playing in an antiquated theatre while the gangsters are having a conversation. Chopra’s visual flair is visible in many scenes and even though the character development doesn’t contribute much to the screenplay, the film still chugs along without too much impediment. The primary reason for that is there isn’t much extra baggage at 107 minutes it is quite crisp and at the end of the day, this is still a good vs evil story with some shades of grey.

Cinematographer Tom Stern (a Clint Eastwood regular) captures the scenic beauty quite impressively. The performances are ordinary – at times you get the sense that the actors are unsure of what exact expression they should have, Anton Yelchin for example has a grimace on his face all the time.

Broken Horses is a decent effort, the screen play should have packed a stronger punch though. 

Published in The Navhind Times on 12th April 2015

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