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Brothers

Went to see Brothers last night, a movie I was very much looking forward to see but found highly disappointing.

Brothers is a remake of the 2004 Danish drama Brøde, directed and co-written by Susanne Bier.

Plot

It tells the story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill and younger brother Tommy Cahill, who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace with whom he has two young daughters. Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who’s always gotten by on wit and charm. He slides easily into his role as family provocateur on his first night out of prison, at Sam’s farewell dinner with their parents, Elsie and Hank Cahill, a retired Marine.

Shipped out to Afghanistan, Sam is presumed dead when his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains. At home in suburbia, the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void, and Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility for himself, Grace, and the children.

But Sam is not dead; he and a fellow soldier have been captured by Taliban fighters. In Afghanistan’s harsh, remote Pamir Mountains, Sam is subjected to traumas that threaten to rob him of his very humanity. At the same time that Sam’s sense of self is being destroyed overseas, Tommy’s self-image is strengthening at home. And in the grief and strangeness of their new lives, Grace and Tommy are naturally drawn together. Their longstanding frostiness dissolves, but both are frightened and ashamed of the mutual attraction that has replaced it.

When Sam unexpectedly returns to the States, a nervous mood settles over the family. Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife. Their familiar roles now nearly reversed, Sam and Tommy end up facing the ultimate physical and mental challenge when they confront each other. In the shifting family dynamics, who will dominate? And how will the brothers come to terms with issues of love, loyalty, and manhood-and with the woman caught between them?

(Source: All Movie Portal)

Impression

In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of Tobey Maguire. I find him too impassive an actor, unable to embody the core of the characters he portrays to any level of satisfaction. However, after seeing the trailer, I genuinely wanted to like him. No dice! I could, in no way, identify with his character Sam Cahill, finding Maguire unconvincing both as a marine and a family man. For that matter, apart from the two little girls, I found the entire cast unconvincing  in their respective roles. I found them bland, stolid. But does it boil down solely to poor performances or miscasting? The key problem, in my view, is the poorly developed script which glosses over the events and emotions of the characters rather than delves into the more dramatic elements of every scene, with the exception, of course, of the one scene in which Maguire goes into a  blind fury.

Rating: 1/5 stars

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