Brothers review: An action drama which often feels like an action comedy

first_imgBrothersDirector: Karan Malhotra Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra, Jackie Shroff, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ashutosh Rana, Raj ZutshiRatings: (1.5/5)Brothers is supposed to be an action drama but it ends up being an action comedy. Characters cry here at the drop of a hat. That’s because three leading males have a lot of issues. Garsin aka Gary (Jackie Shroff) is a guilt-ridden, quivering father who sheds tears so profusely that you’d think he has an abundant supply of glycerine. He has two sons: Monty (Sidharth Malhotra) is the angry young man/fighter who feels he got the short end of the stick in life, and David (Akshay Kumar) is a worried father-husband and one with a lot of contempt for his own father. Instead of seeking family counselling the trio rely on mixed martial arts to sort out the mess. Once in the ring, the brothers brawl, snarl and engage in a bruising battle. At the end of it, the audience will feel like the biggest loser.  ALSO READ: Brothers to Sultan- The rise of combat sports in BollywoodKaran Malhotra’s official remake of 2011 Hollywood film Warrior is set in Mumbai and centres on three Christian characters. Staying faithful to age-old Bollywood stereotype, two of them always have alcohol handy. And the other, but of course, has excessive tattoos too. Malhotra also goes over the top as he tries to demonstrate his flair as a filmmaker. There are far too many extreme close-ups, slow-motion sequences and flashbacks. So mawkish is the treatment that it’s hard to take Brothers seriously as a film which showcases the repercussions of an accidental tragedy on the father and his two estranged sons. Ajay-Atul’s background score hits a crescendo every other minute and therefore unnecessarily exaggerates rather than complements the action. The operatic score means that there is no room for quiet introspection for the characters. Everything is on loudspeaker mode with little depth to the emotions.advertisementBrothers focuses on two brothers at war. David has a sick child whose medical expenses he is struggling to meet. He supposedly has three jobs but we only see him doing one that of a physics teacher. Jumping back into the ring is the only solution to his financial crisis. His younger brother Monty is making the same mistakes their father did – taking the self-destructive route with excessive alcohol. Monty also feels that he is not loved as much as David. Writer Ekta Pathak Malhotra deviates from the original and adds a twist to the family’s back story which doesn’t really contribute to the drama. A battle ensues with Garry as a weepy spectator on the sidelines.ALSO READ: Apart from sibling rivalry, Brothers has all forms of Mixed Martial Arts too Ekta Pathak Malhotra and director Karan Malhotra conveniently forget David’s kid which drove him to fighting to stage a garish spectacle in the form of an international MMA tournament called R2F: Right to Fight. It feels less like a competitive sport and more like an activity where anything goes. In the second half, with key characters sticking to action, Karan Malhotra ropes in two commentators do the talking. It’s a bad call as it ends up in some of the most nonsensical and unintentionally hilarious lines in Bollywood this year. So animated is Raj Zutshi as one of the annoying commentators that it feels like a bad audition for a job at a sports channel.The bloody, bone-breaking and brutal fighting in the second half is most watchable when Akshay Kumar’s David steps into the ring. Essaying a middle-aged man bogged by troubles, Kumar looks the part and occasionally manages to feel it too. Kumar’s experience in martial arts and his love for sports such as parkour shows in his physicality which is natural and also his free-flowing movements in the ring. It is hard to deny that he is one of the fittest actors in the industry who is also ageing far better than his peers. But a few fights cannot salvage a poor narrative.Trouble with Brothers though is that everything is spelt out, often twice or thrice over by different supporting characters. “Kisi bhi sport mein thoda drama hona chahiye,” says Zutshi at one point, but for Malhotra it means melodrama. When words such as “exciting”, “thrilling”, “epic” and “blockbuster” are thrown around, one can sense a film which is trying too hard and achieving little. Brothers could easily have been half an hour shorter and be far more effective. Sidharth Malhotra is unable to do justice to a complex character who viewers are told, by the commentators no less, was brought up in a Church. He relies on a few standard expressions throughout the film but is unable to convey Monty’s predicament. Jacqueline Fernandez as David’s wife here is either teary-eyed or jumping with over excitement. Shroff is hamming it to the hilt.advertisementWhen at one point the commentator says that the audience needs some recovery time from the tournament, he may as well be talking about those in the theatre.last_img

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