Bollywood has seen many films based on the theme of brothers. Be it the love between the brothers or hatred, Bollywood has done it all. This week's release is BROTHERS, a story about two warring brothers. Will this brotherhood hit gold at the box-office or will the war of the brothers spell doomâ€¦ let's analyze.
BROTHERS starts off with the release of Gary (Jackie Shroff) from a jail after having served imprisonment for (accidentally) killing his wife Maria (Shefali Shah). Upon his release from the jail, he is received by his son Monty (Sidharth Malhotra). When Gary asks Monty about his elder son David (Akshay Kumar), the story goes into a flashback mode which reflects the past life of Gary and all the reasons and incident that led him to be jailed. Realizing his mistake, when Gary goes to David to ask for forgiveness for all his misdoings, David refuses to forgive him. David's life now only revolves around his rock-solid wife Jenny (Jacqueline Fernandez) and his 6 year old daughter Maria, who is suffering from a serious kidney ailment. It is for the treatment of Maria that David doubles up as a Physics professor as well as a street fighter (read 'underground fighter'). However, fearing the impression that he will leave on his students, the school authorities debar him from his job. This makes David furthermore helpless and street fighting becomes his only hope of survival. Around the same time, enters Peter Breganza (Kiran Kumar) who is all set to give the street fighting a much needed facelift in the form of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) by organizing the world renowned 'R2F' tournament (Right To Fight) in India, which boasts of a prize money that amounts to a whopping Rs. 9 crores to the ultimate winner. Monty, who is already a street fighter, gets attracted to this contest while Paasha (Ashutosh Rana) signs up David as his fighter for the tournament. Monty receives all the possible (rigorous) training under his ex-fighter father Gary, on the other hand, knowing this is a lifetime opportunity David grabs it with both the hands. With no trainer guiding him, David starts his set of hardcore training for the deadly combat. The tournament begins and David and Monty beat their powerful opponents one after the other. After having defeated all the opponents, there comes a time when the final battle is between David and Monty and the one who 'cripples' the other will become the ultimate winner. Do David and Monty forgo their brotherhood on the battle field for the sake of money, what is the real reason for David to hate Monty so much and does David become successful in collecting enough money for his daughter's treatment is what forms the rest of the film.
The film's director Karan Malhotra, who had earlier made AGNEEPATH (starring Hrithik Roshan), has tried only too hard to live upto everyone's expectations, which is something that shows in the film. In an attempt to do so, even though he captures the emotions strongly, he starts struggling with the pace in the first half of the film, which is dedicated in establishing the film's set up and the emotional drama. The sad part here is that, the drama in the first half fails to stir the emotions of the audience. The extremely slow and snail-paced first half makes you impatient considering that you are in the theatre to watch a hardcore action film. The lengthy first half comes across as a big hindrance. Karan Malhotra could have trimmed the first half by a good 15 minutes to make it look and feel crisper. The film, by all means, picks up in the second half. Despite this pick up, Karan's story-telling seems to be losing grip in the second half as all the focus is totally on the film's action sequences. Even though the film is an 'official remake' of the Hollywood film WARRIOR (which had Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton), it is really sad to see that BROTHERS is nowhere even near to the original film. Karan Malhotra seems to have lost his way in adaptation of the film's screenplay. Having said that, Karan Malhotra needs to be given the brownie points for 'treating' the viewers with MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and also in successfully portraying the struggles of a middle class Indian family. The last fifteen minutes of the film are a must watch. Karan Malhotra has managed to capture the action scenes really well and is probably the first for a Bollywood film.
Amongst the actors, Jackie Shroff gets the crown for his brilliant performance of a helpless father who has unintentionally destroyed his happy family. The guilt that he expresses throughout the film cannot be expressed in words. This is one of Jackie's best performances till date. Akshay Kumar, on the other hand, does full justice to his role of a Physics teacher who is forced to take up street fighting to support his family financially. While he excels in the fight sequences (do not miss his training sessions), he also finely balances his role by exhibiting his emotional side with equal conviction. Sharing screen space with experienced actors like Jackie Shroff and Akshay Kumar is not an easy task, yet Sidharth Malhotra manages to hold on strong. He not only walks (and also fights) shoulder to shoulder with Akshay Kumar in the film; he also excels in the emotional scenes. One however feels that his character should have been given more meat. Having said that, Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra definitely deserve a pat on their back for developing the convincing physiques for their roles and also for taking the art of fighting onto a different level altogether in the film. Jacqueline Fernandez, who plays a mother for the first time in her career, does a decent job, despite hers being a non-glam role. Shefali Shah in her small role is sheer brilliance. Ashutosh Rana and Kiran Kumar are decent. Even though Kareena Kapoor is in her usual element in the item song 'Mera Naam Mary', one does feel that the song is forced into the film, something that could have been easily avoided. Even the commentary during the fights seems way too quirky.
The film's background score is average and the film's music (Ajay-Atul) is decent. The film scores heavily in the cinematography department (Hemant Chaturvedi) and the action department. As mentioned before, the film's editing (Akiv Ali) seems to be a bit of letdown as it could have been a bit crisper. The film's lead actors mainly speak the language of punches and blows, however the film's dialogues (Mandira Shukla) lack the 'punches' to impress the masses.
On the whole, BROTHERS is a huge letdown on the account of its slow pace and lack of emotional connect. At the box office, the movie will enjoy huge footfalls over the weekend due to Independence Day Holiday and lack of credible opposition at the cinema halls. The real struggle for the film however will start from Monday onwards, which would turn out to be the deciding factor of the fate of the film.
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