You know the plot…Two wildly contrasting stepbrothers who have never met, forced to come together after their father’s death. We saw it in Milan Luthria’s Kachche Dhaage where Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan were the contrasting colliding brothers, one rough rustic and lacking in social graces, the other suited booted and hooted for being a stuffed shirt.
I thought that formula was dead and gone. But it is back, this time with the Mexican-American border serving as a sufficiently weighty metaphor for the differences between the two brothers. Hence when the prim and starchy Renato (Luis Gerardo Méndez) gets a call about his dying father who migrated to the US leaving little Renato and his mother in a lurch, Renato is hardly overjoyed.
How Renato travels to the US (which he hates) and meets his stepbrother Asher (Conner Del Rio) whom he hates on first (actually from long before) and how the two brothers are gradually drawn to one another as they clash with goons and friends is the tired tale told too often to be repeated.
Half Brothers is a predictable piece of work with scarcely a moment that we can’t see coming from far away. Also, the contrast between the brothers is created by ferocious design. One wears dark suits, the other wears bright casuals. One wears aviators the others were cheap goggles. One is sullen, the other boisterous and over-friendly.
Having accepted the film’s shameless formula-mongering for brotherly bonding that died with Rain Man, Half Brothers can be some fun. The shared moments between the two brothers are ditzy but smile-evoking. The road adventure goes into a dizzying tailspin and some of the chase sequences are imaginatively choreographed.
I wouldn’t say Half Brothers is a washout. But I wouldn’t go into it unless I’ve nothing else to do. Some have commented on how the film trivializes Mexican immigration to the US. So what’s wrong with making light of a grim situation? Laughter is still the best medicine. Never mind if Half Brothers serve it up with blandness. There is still a semblance sincerity to the formulistic proceedings.
Directed by Luke Greenfield, Half Brothers gets 2 stars.
Image source: Instagram/halfbrothersmovie, Youtube/FocusFeatures, Youtube
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