The bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence in the shadows of the US Mexico border gang wars.The bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence in the shadows of the US Mexico border gang wars.The bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence in the shadows of the US Mexico border gang wars.
It had all the makings of a strong, moody tale with sparse characters and dusty landscapes of a Western. It could have even aimed somewhere between Unforgiven and A History Of Violence but unfortunately ended up way off-the-mark. The tension and mood that Chopra tries to build could have worked so well had it not been for the predictable turn of events and all too familiar tropes of brotherly sagas. Eventually, the plot just doesn't have enough conflicts and the story is much rather fit for a TV movie or a 40 minute episode rather than a 2 hour movie.
Consequently, the events seem stretched and apart from the intended ones, boredom is one of the major emotions you'll feel undergoing this ordeal. The melodrama doesn't help either. Marquette has the most to do and overplays the slow-brained older brother. Anton Yelchin is controlled but it's Vincent D'Onofrio as Julius Hench who makes the movie watchable with his menacing demeanor. His overbearing persona is pitch-perfect and his performance alone deserved a better movie.
It's not that Vidhu Vinod Chopra has done a bad job but he just hasn't done enough with the job at hand. What's there on the screen looks half-baked and incomplete and the movie lacks that punch and tension that you expect from a drama like this. The cinematography by the brilliant Tom Stern (long time Clint Eastwood collaborator) is the other aspect of the movie that lands it above the usual fare.
'Broken Horses' ends up as a job half done but not for the lack of resources at hand. I would still take heart from the fact that Bollywood meets Hollywood isn't the easiest of marriages and Chopra's attempt deserves attention, if only he can learn from it and deliver the next time.
- Apr 12, 2015