It’s basically the Bollywood take on the 2011 film ‘Warrior’, but not as good.
Bollywood has garnered a reputation over the years of taking great Hollywood movies and just butchering them. Such is the case here with Brothers, which follows two brothers and their recovering alcoholic father. One brother, played by Sidharth Malhotra, is an illegal street fighter like his father, and the other is a high school teacher, played by Akshay Kumar, who is struggling to make ends meet amid his daughter’s insurmountable medical bills. If this plot sounds familiar, then you’ve seen Warrior.
The movie runs a little over two and a half hours, and the I constantly found myself asking why. Then I realized it’s because they beat you over the head with the same details over and over and over again. We get it, the two brothers were close, they aren’t now, they’re great fighters, and MMA fighting is now legal but controversial. They must’ve spent an extra hour to repeat those details.
The directing is spotty. At times, it’s good and captures the pathos of the heartbreaking moment. At other times, it’s just the same thing over and over again. The same goes for the cinematography behind the film. You see the exact same fade transition on the river about five times throughout the movie, if there is a transition at all. The music, a notorious quality of Bollywood films, was very obstructive. At times, some music would be nice, but when it’s drowning out scenes, it only takes away from the film.
There were spots of good acting from Kumar and Malhotra, as well as from Jackie Shroff, who played their father. More often then not, as this film drags on, they have less and less to add and you get more of the same. The characters don’t show much change or anything new after the first thirty minutes, at least until the end of the film. They both seemed to train very hard to get in shape for their roles, especially evident in their several minute workout montage. You do get some nice fight scenes from time to time, which helps to make the film play as less boring.
The actor’s shortcomings are not entirely their own. As with any movie, when the screenplay is lacking and dull, everything else inevitably suffers. The characters seem a little one dimensional because that’s how they were written. Malhotra’s character has the same look on his face for close to three hours because the writer never felt the need to give him a passionate and emotional scene until the very end. In addition to that, you get to know Kumar’s character’s backstory in great detail. For Malhotra, you don’t, which brings up such a great opportunity to start alluding to his past in an interesting and less narrative way.
If an Indian remake of Warrior is what you’re looking for, then this is the film for you. Although, for the great majority of you who aren’t, avoid this one.
The film opens in theaters August 14.