Brothers Movie Review

Friday, August 14, 2015
They say, in Bollywood, one movie can make or break things. If with Agneepath, Karan Malhotra found his ground in the industry, with Brothers he undoes most of the good from his extravagant debut. There is no mild way of conveying that this Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra starrer is a snooze-fest which is excessively and unnecessarily melodramatic, its thwack lacking the impact one would have hoped for. Brothers is watchable only in parts and its length doesn't help the its case either. Well, you can very well be their guest and crawl for over two and half hours with their screenplay, to relish just a few extraordinary MMA tussle sequences. We wish that it was redemption enough for a story that lost its edge in Indianization.
An official remake of the Hollywood flick Warrior, the film narrates the story of a street fighter Garry, and his two sons Monty and David. The family was struck by a calamity which tore them apart. Malhotra attempts weaving in a desi narrative on lines of the original, but given our inherent dramatic Indian sensibilities, it was almost a given that mush will overtake. But, the schmaltz factor overflew tad too much, compromising on the film’s intensity. By the end of it, you'd hardly care for the warring brothers and their pathos, which has compelled them to lead a life being oblivious to each other’s presence.
For the entire first half, the film sets the ambience and fleshes out its characters. Malhotra’s sharp sense of characterization which he displayed in his vendetta film previously was obsolete from this one, as he dabbles with flat characters. 

Monty and David’s love and then their imminent hatred needed more screen space, or should’ve atleast been better performed. The backstory is frivolous. The film leaves its subplots dangling. Why does Monty hate David so much? Even if there were reasons, those hardly came off on screen. Hence, when he suddenly spurts out in a dramatic scene - 'Mujhe aaj ring mein David dikha', it is bizarre. David, a physics teacher who is compelled to return to the sport because of monetary compulsions, never warranties it with real reason. He could've tried other jobs when he got fired from one. 
Shefali Shah, who plays the mother of the boys, walked in from the glossy cruise trip of Zoya Akhtar’s film into a chawl. Naturally the far too drastic change was difficult to adapt to which might be the only logical explanation as to how an actor of Shah’s stature falters. She is overdramatic and howls with a constipated face. Infact, the ladies were used as tear-shedding props in the film. Jacqueline too, spends a good amount of time flaunting her freckles and shedding glycerine. After a point, the surge of copious weeping takes a toll on the viewer, leaving them largely unaffected by what unspools on screen.
Then what works? The answer has to be unanimous - action. It is phenomenal and though the detailing of the sport is shabby, it is still novel and an ultimate treat for the eyes. Action junkies will fall in love with both the leading men – Akshay and Sidharth, who come alive only in the ring. The drama in the fights is power-packed, the tension is nail-biting and the thrill is insurmountable, all of which makes up for the lousy performances. Here, a special mention must be reserved for Sidharth Malhotra who looks his part to the tee. His aggression is rightly brutal and in the scene where he knocks down his opponent in one blow, he is phenomenal.
But that spark of exhilarating fun, comes only in parts in this film. Mostly, you remain detached from the story. It is never real enough to command your undivided attention.The only scene which comes somewhat close to moving you to tears is when a drunk, bruised Jackie Shroff breaks down in repentance. If there is one sole thing to learn from the senior lot, it has to be their effortlessness. There is so much ease in their depiction and there is so much soul in their rendering. While the leading men of the film either don dead expression (like Akshay) or remain woody (like Sidharth), it is Jackie who adds depth to the emotional scenes.
The much anticipated face off between the two comes far too late in the film. And you must sit through oodles of unintentionally funny sappyness and bone crunching action to reach there. In its climax, the film disappoints the most. There is no punch in that final sequence where it was needed the most. The brothers re-enact their childhood cuddling in the ring which sucks out all the intensity from it. Its lethargic setup and dragging pace could've been justified had the movie seen a momentous ending.
Even a shimmering Kareena can't salvage the case with her loud dance moves, it is strictly for the pervy-perversons to gorge on.
Brothers is hardly worth your time. It fails to deliver on what it had promised. With a dull screenplay,  underwhelming sob-story and droopy climax, the film is bound to fall short of your expectations. Give this a miss and grab a copy of Warrior to savour on this weekend.
We rate the film a 50%.

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