Director: Jim Sheridan
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire, Bailee Madison, Taylor Geare, Patrick Flueger, Sam Shepard, Mare Winningham, Clifton Collins Jr., Josh Berry
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://www.brothersfilm.com/
Day: 21 January 2010
When a decorated Marine goes missing overseas, his black-sheep younger brother cares for his wife and children at home—with consequences that will shake the foundation of the entire family.
"Brothers" tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirtysomething Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Natalie Portman), with whom he has two young daughters (Bailee Madison, Taylor Grace Geare). Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who's always gotten by on wit and charm. He slides easily into his role as family provocateur on his first night out of prison, at Sam's farewell dinner with their parents, Elsie (Mare Winningham) and Hank Cahill (Sam Shepard), a retired Marine.
Shipped out to Afghanistan, Sam is presumed dead when his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains. At home in suburbia, the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void, and Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility for himself, Grace, and the children.
Hollywood is addicted to remakes, it is not
a big secret at all. This reviewer has had to review several
remakes by now and just when he thought he had grown tired
of shoddy products, a good one comes along. This is of course
a rare occurrence in an industry that is churning out substandard
remakes in recent times.
The movie in question is Brothers, directed
by Jim Sheridan (In America) and starring Tobey Maguire (Spider-man),
Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead) and Natalie Portman (V For Vendetta)
originally a 2004 Danish film by Susanne Bier. For the first
time in their careers, Maguire and Gyllenhaal play the titular
brothers. Maguire is Captain Sam Cahill, preparing himself
for yet another tour duty in Afghanistan and Gyllenhaal plays
Tommy Cahill, the younger brother, fresh out of prison and
trying to fit in again. Portman plays Grace Cahill, wife to
Maguire’s Sam Cahill.
It is 2007 and as one brother heads for Afghanistan,
the other is released from prison. Grace has really liked
Tommy and was cold to him upon his release, not really knowing
why Sam still doted on him. Soon, when Sam leaves for Afghanistan,
all their worlds come crashing down on them as a helicopter
that Sam is in gets caught in a cross-fire and is gunned down.
The US Army is unable to find his body and soon declares him
dead. While Grace tries to cope with the tragedy, Tommy starts
coming out to the house more often and tries to be a part
of both Grace’s and her two children’s lives.
Meanwhile, Sam in actuality has been held captive by Afghan
troops. Sam eventually makes his return and more tension sets
Like the characters of the two brothers who
both undergo transformations in character, the movie’s
two halves are similar in tone. Jim Sheridan has masterfully
directed his three leads and even the rest of the supporting
cast in assuming their respective roles that makes the movie
a heart wrenching affair. Portman, despite my initial feeling
that she appeared too young for the role, was the always reliable
actress that she has been playing the distraught wife of a
troubled Marine to a T. Synonymous with his onscreen persona
as Peter Parker/Spider-man, it is not often that Maguire gets
to stretch his acting chops to his limits and finally gets
the chance to do so here as he evolves from the well-liked
and caring Sam to the intense Sam post-capture. Gyllenhaal
himself gets a chance to do the same and he does it well,
as he gets to transform from the brute and brash Tommy to
the caring and calm Tommy after Sam’s return. The supporting
cast which includes Sam Shepard and the two girls who play
Sam’s daughters are spot-on themselves, worthy co-stars
to the leads.
anything, Tobey Maguire’s various award nominations
this season are just decisions. He has truly proven himself
worthy here in this movie. In a particularly climatic scene
towards the end of the movie, he exhibits a brilliant performance
to a degree which would not have been expected of his character.
It is one thing to go the cinema and to be clawing at the
edge of one’s seat to a horror flick or a thriller.
However, in this case, the same can be said for Brothers.
The movie begins with a whole lot of serene moments but this
can be best described as the calm before the storm. The movie’s
eventual transformation is gradual and well-built that when
it hits you, you would not know where to run.
(Though a remake, Brothers is as good a watch as the original)
Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri