Projections - Movie Reviews
Two Brothers
Two Brothers
Starring Guy Pearce, Christian Clavier, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu

A terrific family film about two tiger cubs that live with their parents among French Indochinese temple ruins during the 1920's.

The cubs romp through the jungle, one brave and inquisitive, the other cautious and timid. However, they’re unaware of the dangers that lurk just beyond.

A British hunter, Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce) and his hunting party are at the same ruins in order to find priceless artifacts to sell for a great deal of money back home. When he spots the male tiger, he shoots, not knowing that he has a cub nearby.

The female tiger is able to stash one cub, Sangha, but McRory takes cub Kumal and gives him to a local circus headed by a dismal nasty trainer. The other cub ends up with a young French lad, Raoul (Freddie Highmore) who sleeps and plays with his new friend, as if he’s a friendly, gentle kitten.

The cubs grow up separately. Away from parents and the carefree life in the jungle. At times, the tale is grim and quite sad for small children to see, as the adult Sangha ends up in a frivolous Princes’ menagerie where he’s taught to fight and Kumal is mistreated at the circus where he lives for a year.

McRory starts out as a hunter of animals for profit, but ends up caring about the plight of the tigers. Except for his character and Raoul who loves his Sangha as a pet, the rest of the characters are silly, pompous or cruel humans.

Directed and co-written by Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Bear) the real strength of this family fare is the exquisite photography. I spent most of the film trying to figure out how they got a particular animal shots. Close-ups of the tigers in their own habitat are amazing.

The first part of the film set in the ruins, has almost an “Indiana Jones” feel to it. With a combination of live animals and some special effects, the results are sure to please the whole family.

Two Brothers

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