Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Surprising Inversion

The movie, Brothers:

My Dad has been in Poland since late May. Today, I drove my mother to the airport. She'll be in Poland for a while. Jorjette left to go to Michigan's prettier coast on the West side. What I'm getting at is that brother Kenan and I are home, bachelor padding it for a week. We do nothing better than watching weird, indie movies (okay, the occasional blockbuster sneaks in too). Tonight's selection was a movie called Brothers.

Brothers is a Danish film from 2004 that garnered a little bit of acclaim from Cannes and Sundance but as far as I know, probably went unnoticed on the whole. It was certainly the first Danish spoken movie I'd seen. I checked out the trailer before hand and noticed a couple things, 1. it was a Focus Features movie (good), 2. the name of the movie was Brothers (uncertain), 3. one of the brothers was very stereotypically "rough" looking (bad), 4. the song playing over the trailer made me feel like it was a good movie even though I was only watching the trailer (does that make sense?).

[Fyi ... I won't give away any specifics, but I may hint at general themes that may act as spoilers]
The basic premise of the movie revolves around two brothers, one of whom starts the movie being released from jail and the other has a wife and two daughters but is going back to war. There's tangible tension between the two brothers and the parents are obviously disappointed with the jail bird brother. As you can see in the trailer, the good brother is thought to be killed in war but returns a few months later to his distraught family. Leading up to watching the movie and throughout the first third of it, I expected a simple redemption story about a "roughneck" brother who turns around his life when he's called upon to be there for his family.

What I appreciated about the movie wasn't that the "bad" brother showed signs of "good" (the "ragamuffin with the heart of gold" character is hardly a new role) but rather that the "good" brother showed signs of "bad." A pivotal moment depicting "good" brother's "badness" halfway through made me realize that this movie had an extra layer to explore. The idea that the best of us are capable of evil is a poignant one, especially for those of us with relatively clean records. It is easy to fall into one's assumed role of being good, bad, or otherwise (fill in the blank) yet we must make decisions on a case by case scenerio. We are living, breathing, organisms that are constantly capable of a host of varying actions. Reputation plays its part but we are larger than others' perceptions.

I can't really go any further without dropping plot points but I appreciated that the brothers' morality (I'm over-simplifying a bit with the term, morality) moves in an inverted motion. I encourage a viewing of this movie, specifically before the Hallmark-ish American version is released this December. Go!View!Think!

1 comment:

dad said...

So can we watch this together when I get home. If you are "bach"ing it in Michigan does that mean you want dinner invitations? Love you, Jo