'Brothers' Review: Punch-drunk love!
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 14 August 2015
'Brothers' Review: Punch-drunk love!
Akshay Kumar, Siddharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Jackie Shroff, Shefali Shah, Kiran Kumar, Ashutosh Rana
It's great to see a film around the underground street fightingscene. However, while 'Brothers', an official remake of the Hollywoodfilm 'Warrior' (2011), sets out to do the same, it dulls the edge of afight film with excessive melodrama.
We see old-time fighter Gary (Jackie Shroff) being released fromprison. His son Monty (Sidharth Malhotra), an underground fighter onMumbai's mean streets is there to pick him up. Gary chooses to askabout his other estranged son, and that upsets Monty.
His other son David (Akshay Kumar) is busy celebrating hissix-year-old daughter's birthday. A former fighter, David now works asa Physics teacher to students who are more interested in his tattoos.But he's back to fighting now, as his daughter is in need of expensivemedical care.
Flashbacks take us to a time when the family with Gary, his wife(Shefali Shah), and the two brothers were together. Gary's drinkingruined the family and landed him in jail. The brothers grew apart.
A new MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) tournament R2F (Right to Fight) isnow giving the opportunity to underground street-fighters to berecognized as sportsmen, with a huge cash prize. As luck would have itthe tournament has both brothers participate, and underlying emotionscome to the fore in the ring.
For a story as intense as this, the film is vacant both in terms ofits portrayal of the sport and in its emotional adequacy. Everythingis simplified to a fault. So if a character is drunk, he will alwayskick the door open to crash in on a family celebration. If a characteris Catholic, they will always wear a cross or hang around in a churchor have a zillion religious tattoos all over the body. You get thedrift…
What elevates the film is Akshay Kumar's ace portrayal of David'scharacter. He is as believable when he's shedding a quiet tear by hisdaughter's side, as he is glaring at his fight opponent withrestrained intensity. Kumar folds in the character's two contrastinglives marvelously, and wears his age gracefully.
Sidharth Malhotra is fairly good as the hot-headed younger brother.Jackie Shroff puts in an earnest act as the ageing father who seems tohave learnt a tough life lesson the hard way. Jacqueline Fernandez isspirited as David;s wife who goes through the trials and tribulationswith him.
The supporting cast is a treat. Shefali Shah is superb as Gary'swife. Kiran Kumar plays the showman-like tournament honcho withaplomb, and Ashutosh Rana plays a profit-seeking coach with dependableflair.
The fights in the second half are absorbing, flamboyantly captured,and have your full attention for a while. It's fun to watch eachfighter employing their specific techniques.
But this drill gets boring after the first few fight sequences—thesame shots of the fights, screaming crowds, intimidating opponentsthat eventually get beaten by one of our heroes, cheeky commentatorswho call it 'Mahabharata reloaded', eager faces of thefather/wife/coach/honcho in that order, and so on...
The final fight, titled 'Blood against Blood' is disappointing andthe ending is too abruptly wrapped up. Theoretically, the concept ofpeople's perception shifting after a good fight makes sense, but it isnot convincing in the way the ending has been executed. The melodramaand the too-busy background score add to an already weighty finale.
Director Karan Malhotra (he also helmed the 'Agneepath' remake)seems to have the propensity to take a reasonably good film and turnit into a hyperbolic, soppy, simplified entity, redeemed by its shareof engrossing portions.
The few gripping fights, Akshay Kumar's ace act, and a fabuloussupporting cast makes the film reasonably watchable. Oscillatingwildly between a sports movie and a melodrama, this is your dose ofpunch-drunk love!
Rating: Three Stars
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