The 2015 film Brothers is an emotional power-packed film that grabs you from the start and doesn't let you go until the final bell.
A Hindi adaptation of Warriors, the story centers on recovering alcoholic boxer Garson "Gary" Fernandes (Jackie Shroff) and his two sons, David (Akshay Kumar) and Monty (Sidharth Malhotra). When the boys were young a violent accident takes their mother's life and sends Gary to jail. David and Monty are estranged, grow into bitter men, and become active participants in cage and street fighting. Gary is released from prison just as the Mixed Martial Arts "Right 2 Fight" tournament comes to India and he finds that both his sons have been selected to participate in the dangerous competition. As he coaches one son, he cheers on another until the final match - in which his sons must face each other.
As the emotionally-scarred and repentant father Gary, Jackie Shroff is at his best. He steps forward to coach his sons but shrinks back when he sees he has stepped over the line. Not quite a has-been, his former reputation in the ring still earns him some respect.
The doting, but angry younger son Monty - who brings his father back from the brink of self-inflicted madness - is convincingly played by Sidharth Malhotra with appropriate amount of angst and isolation.
Akshay Kumar's portrayal as the bitter elder son David - who is trying to provide for his family under difficult circumstances - is more nuanced. He is both fun and gentle with his young daughter and he is loving with his wife. But he is brutally unforgiving when it comes to his father and brother.
Shefali Shah as Maria Fernandes and Jacqueline Fernandez as Jenny bring enormous strength to the film. They both work hard to hold their families together and they have a powerful impact on the lives of those they love. While these performances are supporting roles, they are instrumental in defining the characters of Gary, David, and Monty. Finally, Ashutosh Rana deserves a special call-out for his performance as David's coach Umesh.
Those who are fans of Warrior will see differences in character motivations but similarities in the fight sequences. This isn't the over-the-top Bollywood toss-across fighting. Every round is well choreographed and you will find yourself on the edge of your seat as each combatant is taken down round after round. You may already know the outcome when David and Monty face each other in the ring, but the journey there is painful and the climax is cathartic.
The music composed by Ajay and Atul Gogavale powerfully supports the narrative - from the gentle "Gaaye Jaa" theme to the powerful Brother's "Anthem". The one item number - "Mera Naam Mary" sung by Chinmayi Sripada and picturized on Kareena Kapoor Khan - may seem a bit out of place in the musical line-up, but director Karan Malhotra managed to leverage it in the film to move the story along.
Though an adaptation of a Hollywood film, Brothers is uniquely Indian and tells a story about family that packs an emotional punch.
The following playlist features the trailer and a making of featurette for Brothers.
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