"Brothers" Movie Trailer Review

12/04/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Lauren Bull

The trailer for “Brothers” is a study in what happens when a film’s major plot twist is going to be a surprise only to the characters, not the audience. In this case, it’s a big one – Spiderman isn’t really dead.

No doubt that this is timely material. Directed by Jim Sheridan (“In America,” “In the Name of the Father”), “Brothers” is the story of Sam (Tobey Maguire), a soldier reported dead in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, leaving behind his wife, Grace (Natalie Portman), and two small daughters in a different kind of wreckage. Along comes Sam’s brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), who steps in to take over those things that make a family seem functional--ice skating, parties, front lawn snowball fights. This looks to be working well--perhaps uncomfortably well--until the phone rings, and they all see a ghost step off of the plane.

The trailer is effective in showcasing the kind of great acting reserves these three possess. They help to inspire confidence that genuine pathos could prevail over melodrama. And isn’t the storyline itself kind of irresistible? It’s playing out the hopeful thought survivors cling to in the first moments of bad news--it’s a mistake. Wires were crossed, communication was down, and he’s actually alive. But you’ve started to move on. With his brother. Now what?

The sinister and suspenseful tone of the trailer’s narration is important. Because we already know Sam is alive, momentum is generated here off of jealousy and guilt upon his return. Hopefully, the film takes its time in showing how layered a situation this is, that the quiet moments in relationships can be more jarring than the bashing of a kitchen cabinet. Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard is that when a scene’s hot, write cold.

It’s also worth taking a look at the trailer for Susanne Bier’s Danish film of the same title, on which this film is based. Instead of leading us through a series of Big Moments between characters, we are given hushed glimpses from both home and abroad. It’s remarkable in its lack of suspense. The real story is one of survival--of all different kinds.

This trailer has glimmers of that same quiet complication (I particularly loved daughter Isabelle at the table, twisting her balloon with knowing eyes), but when Sam is firing a gun in the final seconds, it also leaves you feeling that this could go either way--a story about what happens after coming back from the dead, or the story of three very, very good-looking people yelling at one another.

View the trailer for "Brothers" below. Thoughts?

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  1. Leshy said...

    Yea, saw the trailer in theaters. Just like you, at first I saw this as a showcase of the acting ability of Jake and Natalie, then when I saw Toby turn batsh!t crazy, I kinda was taken aback. I have a bad feeling this is going to turn into a mediocre suspense-thriller where none of the actors really get to shine (something that a movie like this should focus on)

  2. Admin said...

    I kind of feel the same way....

  3. stefan said...

    It sounds familiar, for some reason...


  4. Eric Davidson said...

    Jake Gyllenhaal did a particularly awesome job in this movie, all in all i thought it was packed with quality acting

  5. Anonymous said...

    I saw this film and was pleasantly surprised at how Jake acted in this film. It was a real different type of role for him and he really came through. Maguire will probably get an oscar for his performance. Amazing film.

  6. radio advertising said...

    Brothers is one of the most anticipated movie this year, they made a great movie... thanks to all the characters and production crew that worked hard to produce this great movie...