Two Brothers (U)
Time Out saysMore animal magic (ish) from Annaud, 16 years after Jean Reno tangled with ‘The Bear’. The eponymous siblings here are of the ‘fearful symmetry’ variety, heralded by the cutesy opening titles: ‘The tigers Kumal and Sangha in...’
The brothers’ idyllic cub life in the jungles of 1920s Indochina is shattered when relic-hunting adventurer McRory (Guy Pearce) ransacks their ancient-temple habitat and kills their father. The pair are soon separated; one ends up in the zoo, the other in the circus. Reunited as young adults, they escape to terrorise the district– and McRory is hired to find them.
Pearce negotiates his minimal dialogue with convincingly impassive solidity, but, otherwise, nearly everything involving the beastly humans is an embarrassment: wooden actors in caricatured roles delivering hokey dialogue, handicapped by inept dubbing and Stephen Warbeck’s horribly intrusive score. But no matter: the noble felines are spellbinding presences, and Annaud relates their adventures sans excessive anthropomorphism – right up to the unexpectedly moving finale. Four legs good, two legs bad indeed.