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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Your Weekend Movie Pick: Brothers

There are some movies that, when they are done, I think to myself "well that's two hours of my life I'll never get back" others I shake off easily, it was fun but it didn't affect me. Not so with the movie Brothers starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman & Tobey Maguire which was recently released on DVD. I hadn't seen any of the promotional material for the movie, only a poster by the RedBox kiosk that showed Jake Gyllenhaal & Toby Maguire sitting on a park bench. I was really curious about a movie with those actors paired together. I really enjoyed Tobey Maguire's performance in the Spider Man movies and have always had a soft spot for both Jake and Maggie Gyllenhall, so needless to say when Daniel said he was bringing home "Brothers" for us to watch I was excited and I was not disappointed at all that I stayed up until 11pm to watch it! It was worth it. I even tried to think of a way to be able to watch it again by myself before I had to return it. It really is that good.


Unfortunately the plot is completely predictable. Yes, what you suspect is going to happen in the first, oh let's say ten minutes of the movie, is what happens. Big brother (Toby Maguire) is deployed leaving a little brother who just got out of jail and has no life (Jake Gyllenhall), a wife (Natalie Portman) and two little girls. His chopper goes down, they have his funeral, they all think he is dead but he is not. Little brother starts hanging out with his "dead" brother's wife and kids and starts to fall in love with them. He is rescued and comes back home. He is severely traumatized and makes everyone around him miserable. Conflict ensues. That's the movie in a nutshell. Not terribly original but it's brilliant.

I cried, I laughed, I sighed, I was in complete suspense, I cried some more. It is very emotional and I thought very well done. No one is made out to be "the bad guy" not the looser little brother, not the scarred war-hero big brother, not the hard to get along with father, not the wife torn between two brothers. Everything about the relationships was just right for me. The chemistry between Jake Gyllenhall and Natalie Portman was perfect. The subtlety of their relationship as it grew was captivating.

I was a bit dissapointed with Tobey Maguire's performance. He seemed too quiet, wide-eyed and silent throughout most of the movie, so it felt flat and disconnected. Also it was surprising to see such young actors playing parents of such old children. However the kids were brilliant and added so much to the movie. Their constant presence in the film made it feel more firmly rooted in reality.

All in all "Bothers" is a brilliant, touching movie and one of the few that I would want to watch again.


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1 comment:

Megan said...

oooh...i remember seeing a preview for this, but totally forgot! Thanks for the review :)