The Brother – New Release Review

the-brother_x33ucMeet Adam Diamond (no, really). His father is disappointingly not named Simon but rather Jack, which is conceivably a pun on the Jack of Diamonds, though we might expect the patriarch to be the King of Diamonds. In any case, Jack in his day was one of London’s proper villains, selling guns to other proper villains and meaning that Adam was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by all that sweet, arms-dealer luxury. But the ungrateful brat’s been trying to get out of the business due to concerns about ethics or some such rot. No matter, because every time he tries to get out they keep pulling him back in, and this time around he’s being pulled back in by the fact that his father is supposedly about to make a deal with his estranged brother. This is further complicated by the fact that his father is in the grip of dementia, and as the film wears on is almost completely unable to process what’s going on. If the audience aren’t careful, they might end up feeling the same way.

Attractively shot on a low budget, The Brother offers a sort of middlebrow take on the usually sleazy Brit gangster flick. To this end, Adam’s dementia-suffering father is played by the most perfectly middlebrow actor of all time, Anthony Head. He seems to be one of those likable actors who’ll agree to be in anything, and will subsequently give it his all, whether it’s art or trash or just generic product. The Brother aspires to the art end of the spectrum with its lovely mood lighting and its use of sentimental montage, but it never offers enough emotional or intellectual interest to succeed in its aims, leaving us with a perfectly enjoyable but perfectly forgettable little number driven by a complex, satisfying, yet hard-to-follow plot.

The Brother is released today (16th September), will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!

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