Friday, 14 August 2015

Brothers :: Movie Review



Brothers helmed by Karan Malhotra has everything you could possibly want from an inspirational-but-grounded sports movie ; Brooding themes of brotherhood, redemption and guilt, a scrappy underdog beating the odds and of course the Big Competition at the end. A lot of this works ; director Karan Malhotra knows his sports movie tropes well, and how to to hit them to maximize their impact. The film pertinently works because of Karan's obvious affection for sports movies cliches (he has an affinity for extreme closeups of fighters' sweaty, blooded, anguished-but-proud faces that does the trick every time) and mostly, excellent performances by most of the actors. The big competition at the end is undeniably exciting --and the fight scenes are shot in a way that makes sense whether you're a Mixed Martial Arts fan or not. Brothers, an official remake of Hollywood flick Warrior (2011) is quintessentially a tale of two estranged brothers. One brother's a school teacher who struggles to keep home and family together in hard economic times. The other's a brooding brute, home from the war, living with his long estranged father. Both grown men have daddy issues, issues hinted at in bitter, perfunctory conversations between the brute and his recovering alcoholic of a father. The film's sports-movie journey takes us to the big winner-take-all tourney that both brothers enter, each with a need to win. That destination is entertaining, but it is the journey and the people who take it that recommend this fine film. Brothers depicts a tale of remission and restitution primarily as physical confrontation between two antagonized brothers who have strayed apart due to a deplorable event in their childhood. While the first half is an emotional tale having some standout scenes like when Jackie comes to Akshay's place to ask for forgiveness and Jacqueline allows him to catch a glimpse of his granddaughter. And, when young Sidharth is accorded a warm welcome into Fernandez household by young Akshay and Shefali Shah who sings a birthday song for him. The second half is where all the action unfolds with your adrenaline pumping. Brothers is amalgamation of some heavy duty typical Bollywood melodrama with Mixed Martial Arts that has been supported by earnest performances and exceptional fight sequences making it a descent one time watch for Cine-lovers.   

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                       ::                       Since Brothers is a official remake of  Hollywood flick Warrior, the credit for writing the story has been given to Gavin O'Connor along with Cliff Dorfman who wrote the original story for Warrior (2011) where as the credit for adapted screenplay has been given to Ekta Pathak Malhotra. Keeping penchant of Indian Cine audience in mind, Ekta has tweaked the screenplay and spruced up the script with lot of drama and emotional quotient where the audience feels involved in the story. Apart from a tearful Jackie catching glimpse of his granddaughter for the first time or young Akshay welcoming a visibly disturbed young Sidharth into his house, Ekta slowly cooks up the camaraderie between the two estranged brothers towards the climax and also the scene where Jackie Shroff is pushed off by a fighter enraging his estranged son Akshay Kumar. These are the moments that will draw applause from Indian audience. The movie begins with Peter Breganza (Kiran Kumar) announcing that he is going to organize a world renowned R2F (Right to Fight) tournament which comprises of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) in India. Simultaneously, we see Gary Fernandez (Jackie Shroff) getting released from jail after serving a sentence for accidentally killing his wife Maria (Shefali Shah). He is received at the gate by his son Monty (Sidharth Malhotra). His other son David Fernandez ( Akshay Kumar) is a physics teacher & married to Jenny (Jacqueline Fernandez ) and has a daughter whom he has named Maria. The irony is that David's daughter is suffering from a serious kidney ailment and that is the reason why he is forced to opt for underground street fights to raise more funds for her treatment. Gary goes to David's house to seek forgiveness for his past deeds but David is relentless. It is than that through a series of flashbacks we are taken into the past of  Fernandez family and to the events that led to Maria's demise. Gary was a name to reckon with when it came to MMA and his sons have imbibed the same qualities. With the announcement of R2F, both brothers sign up and qualify for the tournament having their own personal reasons. While David wants to win the tournament for the sake of its prize money which is 9 Crores so that he can raise funds for his ailing daughter, Monty is in it to prove himself as a better fighter and earn more respect in eyes of his father. What is the reason behind sour relation between two brothers, Will David forgive his father for his past mistakes, Will both brothers face each other in the tournament and who will eventually win the tournament is what forms the rest of the story.  

STARCAST                                                                ::            A round of applause for Panchami Ghavri (Casting Director) who has chosen the apt starcast who have further portrayed their characters to the hilt as it is more of a performance oriented film. Jackie Shroff as Gary Fernandez has come up with one of his finest performances in Brothers. Gary reeks of desperation ; he's on a crusade for forgiveness and to salvage a connection with his sons. When we arrive into the life of former volatile violent alcoholic Gary, he's gentle, subdued but subtly exudes an intense temper ; he's tortured and it's etched on Jackie Shroff's face. Jackie's performance is powerful, redemptive and heart breaking. As David, Akshay Kumar's physical presence is astounding which intimidates his opponents. Akshay has ably portrayed the character of David who's another fractured and tortured soul, unable to forgive his father's past indiscretions. It's quite heartening to watch Akshay leaving his Khiladi antics behind and delivering fine, substantial performances lately. There's a fluent dexterity in his body language when he is fighting or training making his act a treat to watch in the movie.  Sidharth Malhotra's 'every man' underdog Monty is a fighter in every sense of the world. Sidharth's face looks like a fighters face. Though Monty is a brooding brute but fiercely determined. Monty rides the underdog arc but Sidharth Malhotra gives it the necessary reality so much so that it doesn't feel manufactured. Sidharth deserves a round of applause for developing the apt physique required as per his character and further on portraying his character with right amount of intensity. Jacqueline Fernandez not only looks like a million bucks but portrays her character with utmost conviction. She has played the role of a mother for the first time and has done full justice with her character. Jacqueline is slowly but steadily making her presence felt in the film fraternity with by delivering fine performances. Shefali Shah performs her cameo in the movie with shrill theatricality which speaks volumes about her acting finesse. Shefali proves that length of a role is not a necessity to leave a lasting impression. Same goes for Ashutosh Rana. Ashutosh is one of those versatile, natural actors who always manages to leave a impression with his acting skills. Amongst ensemble starcast, noticeable performances have been delivered by Kiran Kumar, Kareena Kappor, Harsh Suri & Meghan Jadhav.
 
TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                    ::                            The musical soundtrack of the movie that has been composed by Ajay-Atul is average with one of the songs "Mera Naam Mary Hai" making it to the chart busters. The cinematographer of the movie is Hemant Chaturvedi who has done an excellent job. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the movie must go to the cinematographer of the movie i.e. Hemant Chaturvedi who has captured stunning visuals with the roving eye of his lens. His camera has not only captured the exceptional fight sequences with aplomb but his usage of color palettes as per the requirement of the scenes is praiseworthy. A special mention of Suresh Selvarajan (Production Designer) for his brilliant contribution in his field. The movie has been edited by Akiv Ali who has kept the run-time of movie to 158 minutes. Some people might find the pace of the movie to be languid in the first half and find fault in the editing but I feel it was necessary to for the felicitous introduction of characters.  As a director, Karan Malhotra has proven his mettle via his last flick which was a remake of Agneepath. This time too he decided to helm a remake albeit of Hollywood flick Warrior. I've always held the viewpoint that it's not an easy job to helm a balanced and entertaining remake as the original film serves as a hard benchmark while filming the movie. But Karan Malhotra has been able to do the same effectively not once but twice. He has ably extracted the best from his cast n crew. Karan's eye for detailing can be attributed as his strongest point as in every scene, the ambiance he sets, the mood he creates, the pitch of it all shows the director's potential with regard to attaining finesse in the matter at hand.

CONCLUSION                                                              ::           A bare-fisted sports thriller with lots of Bollywood drama thrown in, 'Brothers' pits two brothers on a collision course with destiny, in ring.  It's a descent one time watch for brilliant amalgamation of family melodrama with sports background coupled with laudable performances delivered by some of its starcast.

ROHIT SHARMA. 
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