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Brothers (Maattraan) viewer's review

By: Sridhar Sattiraju
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Brothers is the dubbed version of Tamil film Maattraan directed by KV Anand, who made one of the best movies Rangam in 2011. Anand's first film is about the riot in media and politics that's splitting the social fabric. In Brothers, he takes on a much more advanced topic that's still being discussed and the jury is still out at Biodiversity summits and conclaves - Genetically Modified Foods.

But wait, that is not the basic story. It is more complicated. It's about the bonding between conjoined twins both played by Surya, who are born after Prof Ramachandran (Sachin Khedekar) performs many experiments in artificial insemination in trying to create the ultimate gene factory. Despite his efforts to implant the best sperm bank in his wife's womb, Surya square is born as conjoined twins much against his wishes. Later, the professor forms a company called Locus Lactos Limited which makes a billion dollar energy drink called Energion. But a team from Ukraine suspect that the drink is debilitating the health of the consumers. What happens next will form an interesting part of the story.

KV Anand has actually steamrolled three stories into one story and like the father of the conjoined twins tried to infuse a giant killer of a plot that will be called the mother of all films. There is a story of conjoined twins, industrial espionage and Genetically Modified foods. Allowing the three stories to interact with each other in a simple plot of action and romance is the biggest mistake Anand has made. The most glaring defect in the story is the weak characterization of father Ramachandran. How can a father be so heartless to kill his own sons? Had the villain been somebody else, it would have felt differently. The initial sixty minutes, the film is quite interesting. But after the interval, there ends the best part of the film and all the soul in it. The second half bores you with the tedium of the plot that's already known well before the interval. It reminded me of 7th Sense. In a bid to make it international the film over-concentrates on the dense and complicated plot without checking for its emotional content, comedy.

Why does a father want to kill his own children? How can higher market share of a drink correlate with rising health hazards of children who consume it? How come everybody from Food Inspector to the highest authorities and police turn a Nelson's eye to the frauds perpetrated by the company and nobody detects except competition and eventually family members? What is the connection between a sperm bank and conjoined twins? What is the most harmful substance in an Energy Drink, lets say Red-Bull? What is the connection between Genetically Modified Organisms and the killer product? KV Anand has dropped jargon-sounding words in the middle of a script.

My point is that nobody denies cinematic licenses to creative directors to experiment with new genres and present different themes under one roof but why do they do poor homework, play with the wrong emotions and mess up the plot? Why over-complicate? Why not make a documentary on GM Foods or Drug trials instead of making films that suck?

The real casualty is Surya because this film will definitely disappoint his fans despite his superlative performance as conjoined twins. Showing two different shades as conjoined twins was sheer brilliance and he excels with his all-round talents. He shows class and mass with ease unlike other heroes. Performances by Kajal is average despite huge potential of full-length role. Kajal is becoming predictable as a glamour doll without any new variations. Sachin Khedekar has got a plumpy role and he makes most capital of it after Surya, of course.

Music by Harris Jayaraj has been good in parts. Since Harris Jayaraj has got a proclivity towards incorporating Russian instrumentation in his music, he composes his heart out in a few songs set in the backdrop of the Ex-Russian republics but not many memorable numbers to root for. His BGM is better than the songs but all said, Harris Jayaraj is a gifted composer whose stamp on Surya's career has been most vivid and it follows here too.

Cinematography and visual effects have been brilliant and at least two songs - one starring Isha Sarvaani and another starring the conjoined twins romancing Kajal in Norway were brilliantly picturised.

Stunts by Peter Hein have been very impressive. The fight before interval running for over 18 minutes is astonishingly shot with all the roller coaster and speed-revolving trains orbiting at their speeds and a frighteningly risky fight ensues between the twins and the rowdies.

On the whole, the movie doesn't deliver and has lot of mental flaws that disengages you from the right mood to watch the film because of wrong emotions, lack of a good romantic track between Surya and Kajal. You can give 1.5 for the technical efforts of the director and one more for Surya's masterly effort but afterwards you have to say "Oh My God". 2.5 out of 5 but not a film that entertains cleanly.

Producer: Bellamkonda Suresh

Director: KV Anand

Cast: Surya, Kajal Aggarwal, Sachin Khedekar, Vivek and others

Music: Haris Jayaraj

Release date: 12th October

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