Review: Brothers

There are very few films that leave me in a state of reverence but “Brothers” managed to be one of them.

I put off writing this review yesterday because I left the theater feeling dissatisfied. However I had no idea why I felt this way. At first I blamed it on the story being incomplete but after a good nights sleep I realized something…the story was just fine. Almost perfect, actually.

“Brothers” tells the story of Sam Cahill(Tobey Maguire) a decorated marine, a loving father, and husband to his high school sweetheart Grace(Natalie Portman). His brother Tommy is the complete opposite; fresh out of jail and desperately trying to make something of himself.

At the start of film Sam is deployed to Afghanistan leaving his wife and two daughters behind. While at war his jet is shot down and he is presumed to be dead causing Tommy to step in and help Grace out with the girls. As the months go by, Grace and Tommy who had previously disliked each other become close, which eventually leads to passionate kiss. But of course in true Hollywood fashion Sam is not dead and what happens next is something that will truly grip you.

Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal both give subtle yet emotional performances. Portman, in what I feel is her most mature performance since Closer (a personal fave), captures the essence of a military wife, a soldier in her own right, keeping it together for her girls. Gyllenhaal also portrays his character with depth, his performance is not over the top nor is it understated, it’s just right. Also special kudos to little Miss Bailee Madison who blew me away in the “balloon scene.” (no pun intended)

However in this cast filled with future screen legends, its Tobey Maguire who gives the best performance of them all. His portrayal of a war veteran haunted by guilt from his actions at war will leave you heartbroken. In one scene I gasped out loud because every emotion he displayed on screen was so real.

Although there are some “war-esque” scenes, director Jim Sheridan does an amazing job of not making this film about war; instead making it a film about the way this pointless war is affecting thousands of families. The film sheds light on, in my opinion, “the true price of war.” Kids are growing up without parents, soldiers are coming back scarred mentally and physically, and families are being ripped apart. But that’s beside the point and I will save my politics for another blog and another time.

As I stated before, this film may not grip you right away but once it simmers in your mind, you will realize that you have witnessed film making at its finest. The story is real, unresolved, and true to form. Like I said…it’s almost perfect.

My Grade: A

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One Response to “Review: Brothers”

  1. Jake Gyllenhaal did a particularly awesome job in this movie, all in all i thought it was packed with quality acting

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