Michael has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is missing in action – presumed dead – and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. It soon becomes clear that their feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy. When Michael comes home, traumatized by being held prisoner in the mountains of Afghanistan, nothing is the same…
Director and occasional scriptwriter Susanne Bier essayed a series of helming assignments in her native Denmark during the late ‘90s and early 2000s, that clocked in as lucrative and popular enough to kick-start a highly respectable career for the filmmaker. Though Bier’s credits officially date back to 1992, she achieved her first significant breakthrough in 1999, when she directed The One and Only — a well-received romantic comedy about dating, marriage, child-rearing, and adultery. That film reportedly grossed a heftier amount than any picture in Danish history; a follow-up, the Dogme 95 drama Open Hearts (2002), brought Bier her first international crossover hit and paved the way for much additional success. Shot according to Lars von Trier’s hyper-ascetic filmmaking rules, it told of two couples whose lives become hopelessly and tragically enmeshed following a severe automobile accident. Bier’s Danish-language drama Brothers(2004) explored the feud that… read more
Not quite as moving 'Open Hearts', but once again it's the quality of pulling the viewer in and drowning them in emotions of reality that really stands out. Really enjoyed seeing some recurring faces, especially Nikolaj Lie Kass and Ulrich Thomsen. The slightly confused ending ruined the experience a little, but it's a great piece and I will no doubt go back to it over and over in the future.
Subtle yet powerful film, which seamlessly interweaves narratives of sibling rivalry and the consequences of war through the lives of two brothers, to show how one pivotal moment can dramatically alter the course of one's life. The acting is equally understated, which allows the viewer time time to reflect, which is heightened by the blackened screen edge that makes it literally less clear, inviting a closer look.