Film, Hindi, Review


Two estranged step-brothers (Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra) face up to each other in the mother of all fighting tournaments, the R2F.

There is a classic saying – Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. When earlier Dharma Productions did an official re-make of the Hollywood weepie Stepmom (1998), they ‘Bollywoodized’ a perfectly serviceable idea into a terrible film, We Are Family (2010). Now sadly, along with other co-producers, Lionsgate Productions and Endemol India, they do no better with the official re-make of Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior (2011) and come up with a travesty called Brothers, directed by Karan Malhotra.

The highly predictable narrative itself is old-school, dumbed-down Bollywood with a loud and jarring back ground score hammered down your senses so you don’t miss any of the emotions. The story is treated in a most superficial manner and nowhere is this more evident then in the climax. A fight, which had behind it strong factors of redemption and reconciliation, becomes laughable rather than give you that knock-out emotional punch at the film’s end. All Brothers highlights for the umpteenth time is that typical Bollywood tropes used badly do little to elevate a film from its depth of mediocrity.

Though well-mounted, little works in Brothers barring the odd well-choreographed fight sequence and a restrained and mature performance by Akshay Kumar. Otherwise, the high pitch melodrama – or what the makers called ‘Indianizing’ – reduces even fine actors like Shefali Shah and Kulbhushan Kharbanda to overact like there’s no tomorrow, while Jackie Shroff, barring his own brand of some incredible hamming, supplies the bacon, sausage and more as well! Barring Kumar and to an extent, Shroff as the alcoholic father of both Kumar and Malhotra seeking redemption, none of the other characters are well-etched out. Malhotra, in particular, suffers from an extremely sketchy role and comes across no more than a stupid, wooden beef-cake hunk. The less said about Jacqueline Fernandez’s simpering act – though to be fair to her, to a certain extent, blame it on her role – the better.

There’s little so speak about the technicalities when the film’s basic content itself doesn’t work. In the past, lavish production design, a fine star-cast, some polished camerawork, hummable songs (missing here) and some savvy marketing have seen its makers through some pretty lousy films. Doubtless, they would be hoping for the same this time as well.


Hindi, Action, Drama, Color

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  1. Aged 67. Watched a lot of movies, read a lot of comments. The best was by Bikram Singh (TOI).
    Karan Bali’s Review is good, factual and impartial. A review must analyse ‘Content and ‘Form’ in isolation and comment holistically. But Karan shies away saying “There’s little to speak about the technicalities when the film’s basic content itself doesn’t work”. What I intend is not technicality but technique (Form) of the film-maker. Hope Karan delves in deeper. All-in-all – I am satisfied with the review – for this movie.
    My first visit will not be the last.

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