Thursday, September 9, 2010


or: Dear John with some better actors.

One word to some it up: Boring.

Brothers should have boasted about it's cast a bit more. Tobey Macguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman, who in real life are very close friends, turned out in full force with this movie. Shame is, they were barely in the movie enough to even get top billing. I think I was more interested in the kids. What I expected was a steamy romantic drama. What I got was something I could have seen in an episode of Coronation Street.

Sam Cahill (Tobey Macguire) leaves his family once again to go and fight in Afghanistan, and while he is gone he lets his brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) stay at his house after he is released from prison for robbing a bank. Sam's helicopter is shot down and he is presumed dead, leaving his wife Grace (Natalie Portman) and two children alone. Tommy steps in to help with the family, but in amazing circumstances Sam is found alive and returns home to find that his family have changed in his absence.

I haven't seen the Danish original, but I could probably guarantee that it's a lot better than this one. There were a few things I was expecting from this film that just never happened. Like I expected the relationship between Tommy and Grace to be a bit more intense. I wanted it to be a fractured portrait of a family, but it just felt pretty much the same as most movie families. And for one thing, I really admired Tobey Macguire's work at the end of the film, as he managed to pull off that giant hissy fit and still be respectable. If only the rest of the film could have been like that.

Macguire, Gyllenhaal and Portman all pull off marvellous performances and carry the movie with their professionalism and ability. However, nothing really happens in Brothers, and it fails to make use of the good story it has. It just feels to melodramatic and lacks the magic to pack a real punch. The acting is probably the only redeeming feature this movie has, even including the short appearance from Carey Mulligan, who I barely recognized with beautiful long blonde locks.

THE VERDICT: Brothers plays out more like an episode of a soap drama than a true drama, and suffers from a high dosage of Hollywood gloss. Macguire, Gyllenhaal and Portman do make this worth the watch, though.

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