Brothers is one of those rare films which goes both terribly wrong and heartwarmingly right during its unnecessarily long runtime. The film is infact 40 minutes too long and 3 songs too many, most of which contributes to the murderingly long first half. However in that very half you have scene which will make you go limp in your feet and make you have a lump in your throat as Jackie Shroff extracts heart wrenching emotions out of some intricately envisioned scenes and a rousing flashback starring the stellar Shefali Shah makes you stand up and take notice of some tender emotional scenes involving the two growing brothers and their relationship with their mother. Now in the middle of it all imagine an item number out of the blue by Kareena Kapoor Khan in which she gyrates as if her life depended on it. That’s what is wrong with Brothers.
David and Monty are step brothers who have grown up loving each other. As fate would have it, a fateful night draws a line between the two brothers. Monty is hell bent on proving himself the better of the two brothers in front of his father who is just out of jail. In doing so he walks down the bleak lane of jealousy and revenge. David is happily married, has a beautiful daughter and a caring wife but his daughter is suffering from a kidney disease for which he requires a lot of money to keep her treatment rolling. It is at this juncture that a mixed martial arts tournament known as “Right To Fight” (R2F) is announced in Mumbai.
As the prize money is 9 crores, David pleads his way into the tournament after his younger brother dismantles a previous contestant of the tournament. Monty on the other hand becomes a youtube sensation and is drafted for the tournament based on a viral video which shows him trashing a previous tournament contestant. Thus begins the tournament that would pit a brother against another and would result in as much action as family drama. The father torn between the two brothers is left stranded as the two fight it out in the arena.
Brothers is an eclectic mix of pros and cons. The emotional sequences between the father and son and the brothers work up to an extent. Shefali Shah’s little part gives depth to the narrative. Jackie does a commendable job as the father figure and he looks the part. The film’s action is well done. Even though a lot of queues are taken from Warriors, the action still feels good and leaves a good taste in your mouth. Akshay Kumar is always a safe bet as far as action is concerned and he delivers wonderfully in this film as well. Sidharth Malhotra, though tacky in his acting, does pull up his socks by the end and packs in a punch in a scene or two. His best act comes in the climax when he asks that final question which brings the two brothers together. Jackie Shroff as their alcoholic ex-fighter father is terrific. He looks natural in his essay and his act holds the film together in many sequences.
Unfortunately the film is weighed down by an enormous amount of cons. To start with the film’s runtime is a killer. Unnecessary melodrama and slow execution pulls the length of the film to an almost intolerable length. The item number by Kareena Kapoor Khan works as an atom bomb dropped on an unsuspecting and already devastated group of people. This song feels like an age and ditto can be said about the song which establishes the back story of the two brothers. This could have been easily done with some simple cuts and would have easily cut short the runtime of the film. As is the case with almost every Bollywood film, logic and reality goes for a toss every now and then which really hurts the screenplay. The most horrendous of the blasphemies is committed when the R2F tournament is shown to unfold over just 2 days with each boxer made to fight more than one bout a day.
If not that, Monty’s story is not exactly believeable and the fact that the commentators keep calling him a villain is almost inexplicable for me. He does nothing villainous in the film and neither does he have any reasons to be as pissed as he is all throughout. But he is and that’s partially the comedy of it. Post interval he goes quiet and doesn’t even care to speak to the father whom he wants to prove wrong. He walks out of the ring in a manner which conveys the feeling that he must have seen Warriors. Only Akshay’s character is well laid out and he seems to be the only one who knows what the hell is happening in the first place. Jacqueline Fernandez is there just for the ride and apart from a lone romantic song, she has a blink and miss role. Not that I am complaining.
Overall, Brothers is the sort of film which will not hurt to see once but can also be ignored with considerable ease. It has an entertaining second half and some inspiring moments in the first but in between that, it is prolonged drudgery which not all will have the capacity to fathom. To me, it is a disappointment considering the fact that its director gave us a film like Agneepath. Here he seems to go terribly wrong trying to make a film which is a tribute to the 70s masala fare where melodrama was high and plot thin. Hence Brothers suffers and so does the audience with it.