The question that is sure to linger on after you walk out of the theatre is this: Why on earth did the director need the 'conjoined twins' element? Forget the sensitivity, realism and novelty that a story like this needed, the first and second half are not a bit conjoined - the separation between the lovable brothers, to make the matters worse, seems inconsequential after a while. Having blacked out one hero from the story, KV Anand lets the story take a lame turn, with even the villain, nurturing a genocidal agenda, reduced to making frantic telephone calls as his days seem to be numbered. Lost in too many details about where the poisonous invention was administered first, who all are still alive, etc etc, the film throws up sentimental trash towards the end, which in any case is short-lived and robs the theme of a purity and a unity of purpose that was never intended to be lent.
One reason why we still remember Ghajini is because after the soul (the heroine) is killed, the hero's life changes forever. He is never the same again, not only because he is damned to suffer from short-term memory loss, but because killing the villain is his single-point agenda. Here Vimal (Suriya) is a casualty like the many characters out to expose the health disaster in the waiting; Neither is Akhil (Suriya) bothered about the painful loss of his brother afer some time. If anything, he looks relieved, cheerful in Russia.
Enterpreneur Dr. Ramachandra's (Sachin Kadekar) energy drink for children is a mystery product with high sales. His son, Vimal, has doubts regarding his father's honesty. Akhil has the task of finding the truth cut out for him. As Akhil breezily tries to get at the evidence on a trip to Ukraine with a beautiful Kajal on his side, we keep wondering whether it is so important to know how many Russians had consumed Ramachandran's drug in 1992 while the truth could have been proved by administering it to a mouse back in Hyderabad in any televison channel's studio!
Lacking any intensity, even seriousness, Brothers falters in the second half to the extent that the climax turns out to be nothing less than a cop out.
It is not a bit true-to-life that a lone scientist would want to maim 40 lakh children without the backing of an organisation just because a corrupt government did not encourage him. Puzzling especially because a strong reason is shown for administering the life-threatening drug invented by Sachin Kadekar (the villain, Vimal-Akhil's father) to 39 Russian athletes in the same story! Because elsewhere Suriya's characters speak of rapacious capitalism and Sachin's bestial genetic science, the director might have concocted an engaing thriller action-drama, a logical plot by taking inspiration from real-life examples, with the entire focus on the hero, the villain and the ulterior motives of MNCs.
This brings us to the example of a less-known but movingly told film, Jiiva-starrer E (2006, inspired by V for Vendetta), which pit the evil medical science using poor illiterates as guinea pigs against the fight of a revolutionary whose brainwashing inspires the hero, an orphan, to become a mystery fighter for the rights of his people. Here in Brothers, when Akhil's identity is revealed by his father in the last scene, one shudders to think of a wasted opportunity.
There are, it must be added, many good things about Brothers. Suriya's confident and comfortable act, the nimble VFX, Antony's editing being the three big highlights. Since witty dialogues are few and far between, the scenes relied on the strength of Suriya and Kajal, and they both do justice.
The songs are beautifully-shot, while Harris Jayaraj's music is peppy. The BG score mostly works fine, but it is experimental (or at least non-regular) for many scenes.
Soundarrajan's cinematography is alright in the demanding scenes, i.e. where Vimal and Akhil are seen together, but the fighting sequences, the chases, the gun battle could have been better shot. Peter Hein's stunts are their usual self, though two of the fights are definitely lengthy.
Suriya builds good chemistry with Suriya. If as a happy-go-lucky Akhil he is entertaining, as a soft-spoken and serious-type Vimal he is restrained. Unfortunatley, he doesn't get to emote well in the second half, which should actually have been crucial.
Kajal is convincing in the role Suriya's partner in investigation. She looks motivated. The dubbing artiste (Chinmayi) proves to be an asset for her. Sachin's role as a frustrated, villainous scientist is not well-etched. As a white-collar scientist-criminal, he doesn't look menacing enough either. His demeanour is alright though. Tara is ok in the mother's role.
All in all, Brothers is enjoyable for the parts.
Released on: 12th Oct, 2012