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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Brothers- Movie Review: Blood against blood, Wrestler for Wrestler!

Director: Karan Malhotra

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Siddharth Malhotra, Jackie Shroff, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shefali Shah, Kiran Kumar, Ashutosh Rana, Raj Zutshi, Kavi Shastri and Kareena Kapoor Khan (in a special appearance).

Synopsis: Adapted from Gary O’Connor’s WARRIOR, the film begins with Monty (Siddharth Malhotra) picking up Gary (Jackie Shroff), his father, from jail. The situation appears that there is feud between the brothers Monty and David (Akshay Kumar). However, they soon confront each other in the wrestling ring of a mixed martial arts contest… That’s when it becomes blood against blood!

What’s good? 1. The performances 

One of the strongest points of BROTHERS is the performances. To begin with, Jackie Shroff essays the role of Gary Fernandes- a struggling alcoholic and distraught father. Although one may argue that his character is somewhat similar to the one in YAADEIN, but let me tell you, his performance in this film was outstanding. In fact, his performance reminded me of veteran David Abraham’s acting in Raj Kapoor’s BOOT POLISH. He compels you to cry, sympathise with him, and feel his pain. Well if Jackie Shroff’s performance was great, his reel-life sons Siddharth Malhotra and Akshay Kumar, Pack a punch… Quite literally. Akshay portrayed the role of David, the elder brother, who detested his father and younger brother. Whether it was Akshay as a father/husband or as a wrestler, Akshay leaves an impact. Let me tell you, his segment of action-sequences are mind-blowing. They will make you scream ooh and aah! As for Siddharth, he does not have many dialogues to say in comparison to Akshay. However, it’s his eyes and facial expressions which do the talking. His performance reminds you of a young Dharmendra. Jacqueline Fernandez enacts the role of Jenny- David’s wife and the ideal bahu (daughter-in-law) of the Fernandes family. Despite she does not have a major/central role like KICK, her performance beautifully compliments the three main gentlemen: Akshay-Jackie-Siddharth. Although Shefali Shah was in a few scenes, her performance was thoroughly poignant. If her acting in DIL DHADAKNE DO was impressive, she takes it a couple of notches higher in BROTHERS. As for the rest of the supporting cast, they were great too. *A Special Mention* of the funeral scene where the leading heroes look at their younger selves. This gave me Goosebumps!

2. Action sequences

Many critics have argued that WARRIOR was better. To be honest, I have not watched the film, but the action sequences in BROTHERS seemed a bit more realistic in comparison to other Hindi movie wrestling sequences. There was not many unnecessary slow-motion punches or kicks during the battle portions. Also, what makes BROTHERS unique for Hindi Cinema is the fact that there is a final wrestling match between two brothers, rather than an Indian and a foreigner. Sure, it’s an adaptation of a Hollywood movie, but even the action sequences have the Dharma Productions’ touch!

What’s bad? In Karan Malhotra’s debut directorial AGNEEPATH, the item song Chikni Chameli was integral segment of the film. However, Kareena Kapoor’s item number ‘Mera naam Mary’ was futile. The song obstructs the mood of the film and the audience gets distracted from the real drama. Also, I felt that the first half’s pace was more quick in comparison to the second half. Nevertheless, the movie did not decrease the emotional or dramatic quotients.

On the whole, BROTHERS is a worth a watch. It is not an outstandingly path-braking film, but the performances, emotional sequences and power-packed wrestling scenes which will entertain you for the next 156 minutes!

   (3.5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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