Among Brothers is based on the actual events surrounding a cold case. Names are changed for protection. On November 9th, 1994, Jennifer Matthews, a senior at Bergan State University in South Carolina, was found dead in her burned down apartment. The police informed the Matthews family that it appeared to be an accident. Two days later, the autopsy revealed that her death was no accident. There was no presence of smoke in Jennifer's lungs, she died before the fire- someone had killed her and tried to cover it up. Written by
Morgan has provided a rich and moving story for Schwert and the cast in Among Brothers. The story unfolds and immerses the viewer with such ease that it's difficult to believe this is Morgan's first script. It probably won't be his last.
Mercer, Cicci, Schneider and Watts all do an excellent job of bringing the central characters to life. Their performances are professional, natural and candid, sometimes bringing to the film a gritty "docudrama" feel. Ayliffe is not bad but the handling of his first scene - particularly the closing part - is overdone and undermines an otherwise solid performance.
The cinematography in Among Brothers is superb, exhibiting a sophisticated and subtle progression from rich color to desaturated tones to mirror the progression of the plot. It is also often unnerving, which supports the plot and theme perfectly. The soundtrack is surprisingly good, providing an appropriate ambiance and emotional tone without being intrusive.
Despite a few minor flaws, this film is a remarkable product from relative unknowns and first-timers on a shockingly small budget. What the creators of this film lack in experience they more than make up for in talent. This is a film that refuses to be ignored.
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