“Brothers” tells a story about a man who goes to war, crashes over enemy lines and is taken prisoner. When his body is never found he is pronounced dead. His wife back in America picks up the pieces and moves on. The man’s estranged brother takes it upon himself to form a relationship with the man’s wife and two children, to help with the grieving process.
The man is Sam Cahill played by Tobey Maguire. His wife is Grace played by Natalie Portman and his brother, recently released from jail, is Tommy played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The three give very solid performances given the limited material they are working with.
I found this movie to be very underwhelming. It felt like it was moving along too fast. I didn’t really get to know the characters very well, suddenly Maguire’s character is shipped off and almost immediately disappears. This creates a void that of course Tommy would instinctively want to fill, not only to help out, but to find some sort of redemption in his life.
When Maguire returns from duty alive, the movie does create some fairly interesting scenes as he starts to suspect that Tommy might have slept with his wife, but none of this is ever really explored which is a shame because the performances are exceptional.