Brother’s Day: A bizarrely written, lazily executed film

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Express News Service

You know the saying, ‘Don’t bite off more than you can chew’? It’s something I would like to tell the abomination that is Brother’s Day. Somebody must’ve slept off while writing/directing/editing this film because this is one of the most bizarre movies ever made. A script like this is every sensible screenwriter’s nightmare. It’s confused as to whether it wants to be a family entertainer or a dark thriller. I would say it’s more of the latter.

It crams way too many twists and turns just to give off the impression that something big is happening. A film of this nature is not recommended for kids or for viewing in a festival atmosphere on account of some disturbing imagery. It’s a lazily written and directed film stretched to nearly three hours for some odd reason.

To give you a sense of how baffling the screenplay is, let me start with a portion where one character meets with a gruesome end and, later, we see her alive—back to how she was before the incident. I found that extremely awkward. It must be also noted that after the murder news is flashed on the television, the character’s close relatives walk around as if nothing had happened. Didn’t anyone from the film’s team pay attention to this glaring inconsistency? Or did everyone deliberately turn a blind eye to what was happening on the screen for fear of not offending anyone?

ALSO READ: Dhanush to make his singing debut in Malayalam with Prithviraj’s ‘Brother’s Day’

It seems like two different versions of the same story had been joined in the middle. It had me wondering if this was a science fiction film by any chance—you know, the sort where a character travels back in time to stop a murder from happening. There are multiple twists incorporated into the narrative just for the sake of it. No proper reasoning has been given for their existence.

Characters who show up in one form in the first half turn into another in the second. One character even undergoes three transformations. Even M Night Shyamalan wouldn’t have dreamed up these twists. It’s a mystery how Prithviraj and Prasanna managed to have fun in the middle of all this utterly ridiculous and incomprehensible chaos. They, along with Vijayaraghavan, are the best things about this film. 

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It’s refreshing to see Prithviraj in a completely relaxed mode after playing serious characters in his recent films. As the manager of a catering company (a change from his usual “top class” roles like astrophysicist or nuclear waste management specialist), Prithviraj’s Ronnie is an electrifying presence on screen. His mannerisms reminded me of Mukesh from the early Priyadarshan films. He shines in a few comical situations, a colourful dance number and a couple of fight sequences. It can’t be denied that he, along with Dharmajan, brings out  some solid laughs. But you don’t get enough of it. 

When a filthy rich and affable stranger Chandy (Vijayaraghavan), enters his life, things take a different turn. Chandy is delightfully eccentric. We have not seen Vijayaraghavan in this form before. Also making the most out of his villainous character is Prasanna, even though there is no backstory explaining his actions. I understand that some villains are much scarier without a backstory but considering how ridiculous things get towards the film’s latter portions, I would’ve liked to see a character who doesn’t possess the information gathering skills of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the Terminator movies.

There is no explanation as to why he became a misogynistic psychopath who blackmails and kills people in brutal fashion. (Meanwhile, your brain cells are being killed by all the absurdity on display.) Though there is a moderately interesting twist concerning him and another lead character, they don’t really add up once you put them together. Of the four female leads in this, it’s only one or two who actually have something significant to do. 

The rest of them were apparently added to increase the marketing value of the film. Madonna Sebastian’s character shows up and tells Ronnie why being single and free is such a great idea. She cites her parents’ bad marriage as the reason for that decision. It’s here we learn that Ronnie is also single. He tells her he also has a backstory, but we never get to hear it. 

The scene cuts abruptly. But this is not the only scene with an abrupt end. There are several others. But since the narrative becomes terribly confusing by the end, I forgot to keep count because I was busy wondering if this was a science fiction film.

Film: Brother’s Day
Director: Kalabhavan Shajohn
Cast: Prithviraj, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Madonna Sebastian, Miya George, Vijayaraghavan

Rating: 1.5 stars

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