Sunday, 4 October 2015

Film Review - Brothers



Oh no, Bro !
Film: Brothers
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra, Jackie Shroff
Directed by: Karan Malhotra
Duration: 2 hr 42 mins
Rating:  * *

An official remake of the Hollywood film Warrior starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte,  Brothers is a highly Bollywoodi’sed version of the film, filled with all the standard tropes including a Kareena Kapoor item number, forced melodrama and a loud background score giving you cues from time to time. Partly being a martial art film, by the time all the arm twisting, skull smashing and bone twisting is over, you are brain dead.

The story of Brothers is divided in two parts – the first is a family drama which unfolds at one tenth of a snail’s pace and the second where the action unfolds in the arena. The problem with the first is the shoddy adapted screenplay and the second, though it brings in some excitement is shot in a very clich├ęd manner. 

It starts off so slowly that you wonder if the film is running at 24 or 12 frames per second. A silver haired Gary (Jackie Shroff) walks out of the prison and meets his younger son Monty (Sidharth Malhotra).  They are a family of street fighters, the father used to be one till he hit the bottle, the younger still fights and the elder David (Akshay Kumar) has given it up to teach Physics in school. Occasionally, he is tempted by primarily because doesn’t enough to sustain his wife (Jacqueline Fernandez) and kid who has kidney ailment.

We are told that the brothers are now estranged because of an incident that involved their mom (Shefali Shah) and it seems like eternity to watch all that unfold.  

Kiran Kumar, dressed in colorful suits plays a magnate who wants to bring in Right to Fight, or RTF, a kind of a martial art sport to India where two men fight to the finish in a cage. It is an international competition involving fighters from all countries but no prizes for guessing that the two brothers compete in the finals.

After landing a few punches, when the two get into emotional mode, you want their and your ordeal to end quickly. The film is way off tangent when it comes to mixing emotion with action and drama. If it was a baby being operated in Mary Kom during the climax, the maa and bhai factor comes into play here while the fight is in progress.

A glitzy arena, slickly edited fight scenes and hyper active commentators maybe something new in Hindi films but we’ve seen that in more than a dozen Hollywood films. Plus the way it is shot is so formulaic – two punches, cut to the father’s reaction, one more punch then cut to the school children, a hard punch, cut to the reaction of the wife, bit more action, cut to the crowd and then repeat the same but not necessarily in that order. 

It is amply clear to the audience that the two brothers are going to fight in the finals yet when the father learns of it, he reacts as if he has seen a snake do a break dance. And after the commentators announce that the two finalists are actually brothers a character says “arre woh dono bhai hain!” There is no question of subtlety flying out of the windows because it never existed here in the first place. It is about time that our film makers stopped treating the audience with such disdain.

The actors are sincere, Akshay Kumar gives a restrained performance and as the younger sibling, Sidharth Malhotra is apt. Jackie Shroff is impressive making the best of what he has on hand.

All said and seen, you are better off sourcing a copy of the original rather than get punched by the brothers.  


Published in The Navhind Times on 16th Aug 2015


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