Monday, 28 March 2011


I will mention a film possible two if I have the time. Brothers was released in 2009 and has authenticity from start to finish in what is a harrowing and tense drama thriller and which attracted my attention because the female lead was played by Natalie Portman. Her role is secondary to that of two brothers and their father, played by the excellent Sam Shepherd, a Vietnam Veteran who is proud that one son has become a career soldier with three terms served in Afghanistan and fourth to come.

In saying that Ms Portman’s character is secondary this is not to suggest that she does not have an important role, or does demonstrates her ability to get into character in a convincing way. She is the high school sweetheart wife and now mother of his two children who finds each departure more difficult to cope as do his two daughters. When his helicopter is show down and he is presumed dead her world and that of the family falls apart especially his father, particular because his other son has only recently been discharged from prisoner for armed robbery, drinks too much and generally carries the ship of knowing he failed to live up to his father’s expectations. After the death of his elder brother he attempts to play a more positive role in the family, although continues to have drink and money problems, but through a relationship with his brother’s widow and children he begins to rebuild his life, especially after organising the redesigning and redecorating of the kitchen as much to please his father who commented that it was one thing that bugged him about his other son. Then is one brief passionate kiss between brother and widow but they both instantly know it would both be right.

We the audience know that in fact the husband is not dead and that he and one other crew member survived and were captured and taken prisoner. In order to persuade the two men to make a video denouncing the War they try to get one man against the others and eventually offer the hero husband the choice killing his companion who is also married with a child or giving up his own life. He eventually gives in just before an USA army raiding party find the revels, killing them and find the husband still a prisoner. He returns the hero even more but an introverted man tormented by what he had to do to survive. His predicament becomes worse when the widow of the man he killed seeks information about what happened to her husband.

The man snaps destroying the kitchen which his brother had organised, in part because he believes the two were having a sexual relationship before he reappeared, and after he had been ceremonially buried. he then pulls a gin on himself when the police are called by his brother. He is admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he remains unable to communicate the cause of his pain. Earlier his father had mentioned that he too found it impossible to communicate with his family or anyone outside the military after his return from Vietnam. Natalie Portman visits her screen husband in the hospital and presses him to reveal the cause of his suffering, threatening to lave him and faced with this option he reveals that he had killed his friend rather than die himself in order to get back to her.

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