Thomas is slowly dying. He has accepted this and has decided to wait for his death on the coast, at the house where he spent his childhood. His imminent death will nevertheless cause catastrophe for those around him, forcing them to re-examine their own existence, and thus prompt change in the course of their own lives.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Warning: patience, compassion and strong stomach needed!
If you know Chéreau mainly by his version of Alexander Dumas' novel La Reine Margot or maybe even more famous adaptation of Hanif Kureishi's Intimacy, get ready for something very different. His brother is not history based, there are no mass scenes or attractive dissolute individuals, there are no explicate sex scenes, only delicate human story of illness demystification, complicated family relationships and about love in general. You need patience, compassion and strong stomach for this film. About two thirds of the audience left the cinema before the end. I did not even think about it. I loved it. It was unforgettable. Thomas and Luc are brothers who had lost their closeness long time ago and do not keep in touch until the older one gets strange sickness. Thomas' blood cannot coagulate, doctors are not capable to help, his girlfriend leaves him, his parents argue at his bedside and the only one who stays besides him is his younger brother. Entirely confused and unprepared, in the beginning Luc resists the need to stay with his brother. In a sad hospital surrounding he meets every day a cold doctor, dense nurses and quiet, resigned patients. With no disgust, Chéreau shows plenty of ugly scars, wrinkled skin, hairs, bruises, shiners and burdensome long lasting medical procedures that are not pleasant for sure, but do prepare for death. The sequence where Luc meets nineteen-year old Manuel is astonishing. Gay-oriented man notices Manuel's big eyes and gorgeous lips, still present traces of unusual beauty. During the spontaneous chat with this cut-like-a-piece-of-meet boy full of wounds and scars Luc feels more empathy and warmth than he feels for his own brother. An affecting scene when Manuel's and Luc's hands touch will later repeat with Thomas, when closeness they used to have in their childhood is re-established between two brothers. Retrospectively mixed events unavoidably lead to the fact they are left all alone, with no partners and parents, aware of inescapable death. The act of dying will not be shown so there will be no real cathartic discharge. The right song used at the right place provokes so appalling shudders that every future listening to the same song will surely bring them back. The bitter voice of Marianne Faithful in "Sleep" from her album "A secret life", the song so beautiful and so sad conjures the climax up. This is where the soundtrack starts and ends. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, as the song says.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this