Projections - Movie Reviews

Brothers (2005)

Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Connie Nielsen

Rated: R
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 6, 2005 Released by: IFC Films

This Danish film from Susanne Bier centers on two opposites Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) and Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who happen to be siblings.

Michael is easygoing with a lovely wife, played by Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, One Hour Photo), and two energetic little girls.

Jannik is just out of jail for an assault charge and hasn't done much with his life, often in a drunken stupor.

When a U.N. mission comes up, Michael, a Danish army major, is remanded to Afghanistan. When his helicopter is shot down he is presumed dead, but actually held by Afghan insurgents. He is coerced to commit an atrocity.

Back home, his wife and Jannik become more intimate. When Michael's rescued by allied forces from Britain, he arrives a different man, similar to his brother.

Bier, known for her work in the Dogma movement, keeps Brothers from becoming melodramatic or conventional, as themes of fidelity and grief are slyly integrated into a family's changing milieu. And, she works convincingly with her cast, especially the Danish-born Nielsen, who feels quite comfortable in her native land in a sympathetic portrait which proves she's more than a beautiful actress.

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Brothers (2005)       B-       B-

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