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Brothers [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Bent Mejding, Solbjorg Hojfeldt
  • Directors: Susanne Bier
  • Producers: Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Sissie Graum Olsen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Soda Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Sept. 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X79AM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,726 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Michael (Ulrich Thomsen; Festen, Inheritance) has everything under control; a successful military career, a beautiful wife (Connie Nielsen; One Hour Photo) and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik (Nicolaj Lie Kaas; The Idiots, Reconstruction) is a drifter, living on the edge. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission it is not long before events take a dramatic turn and Michael is missing in action - presumed dead. Sarah is comforted by Jannik who against all the odds takes responsibility for himself and his brother's family. It soon becomes clear that Jannik and Sarah's feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy but the fragility of their emotions is constantly under threat as the balance between the two brothers changes forever.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A brilliant piece of danish drama, who have somewhat of an underrated catalogue of great titles...
The difficulty with subtitled foreign film is the emotion, thought and story behind words can be lost in translation. The fine performance from a strong cast make sure this definately isn't the case with "Brothers". The raw emotions of lose, desperation, fear and anger are put forward so strongly that it doesn't matter if "Carlsberg" is the extent of your danish, not a shred of drama is lost.
The film moves at a tremendous pace, highlighting the true emotional destruction of war. The focus is taken off the action, and placed on to the families who lose a husband or a brother or a son, left to pick up the pieces, and on the damage done to a returning soldier, and his downward spiral as he survives capture, but at the price of his mind and spirit. There's also a particularly strong scene showing how far a man will go for love and survival.
Take a chance on a Danish great, you won't regret it...
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Came across this movie after enjoying Connie Nielsen's strong, no-nonsense performances as a policewoman in Special Victims Unit and a military policewoman in Basic. Her character in Brothers is an ordinary, loving wife and mother who endures the agony of the reported death of her husband in Afghanistan and has to pick up the pieces for the sake of her children and grieving in-laws. Unlike in her previous roles where her strength comes from her badge, gun or military rank, in this film it is the love for her children and family which gives her the determination to carry on. Her portrayal of putting a brave face on grief is wonderfully subtle yet utterly convincing. The sub-plot of what actually happened to her husband in Afghanistan is equally heart-wrenching to watch (as well as a timely reminder that the Americans are not the only troops in Afghanistan!) He is a good man,a loving husband,son and father,a responsible soldier placed in a situation where the only way to survive is to carry out an unimaginably horrific act that goes against every aspect of his character. The consequences of the choice he is forced to make will change the lives of everybody in the film and the "what would you do in that situation" question haunted me long after the film was over. As well as fantastic acting and gripping plotlines, this film is beautifully shot - from Afghanistan sunsets and sand dunes to the Scandinavian designer chic of the family home in Denmark, a visual feast. Lovely movie on so many levels. Have no intention of ever watching the Hollywood remake - couldn't bear to see what they've done to it!
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War not only destroys soldiers’ lives but those of their families and loved ones, at times whole communities breaking apart in the aftermath of just one such tragedy. Soldiers who survive a conflict, struggle for the rest of their lives with the psychological trauma of the horrors they have witnessed, in turn subjecting their innocent families to untold misery and suffering. As Edwin Starr’s 70’s song ‘War’ says, “What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” Yet, we don’t seem to comprehend the futility of war, as blatantly evident from the battles raging across the globe just now. By exploring the devastating impact of war on an ordinary family in an intimate and therefore conceivable way, Susanne Bier’s ‘Brothers’ persuasively compels us to contemplate a peaceful society for the sake of our children.

Documentary style, handheld photography renders the perfectly paced narrative immediate and urgent in its appeal. The central performance by Ulrich Thomsen as Michael is breathtaking, for his complex transformation from a confident, loving and jovial man to a menacing, emotional wreck is delivered with consummate ease. Connie Nielsen as the demandingly multifaceted Sarah is uneven in her performance at times, but she brings an effortless sensuality and an unnerving suggestiveness to the role, which make her husband’s jealous suspicions of her infidelity all the more convincing. The supporting cast is superb in their finely nuanced performances, particularly the girls who play the two daughters being astonishingly adept in their emotionally taxing roles. An essential ingredient to the emotive depth of the movie is the poignant score by Johan Söderqvist.

‘Brothers’ is yet another example of Susanne Bier’s exceptional flair for inspired and realistic storytelling. While the film is not as impeccable as her later achievements, it nevertheless is an engrossing, deeply affecting and significant film about issues that we can no longer ignore.
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This Danish film really got to me and I found it superior to the previous version I had seen. The acting was sincere and the whole film had a ring of truth to it. If you like films about returning from war, then I would recommend this one.
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Michael is a much-awarded major in the Danish army, fighting in Afghanistan. Disaster strikes and he has a terrible choice to make. Potentially compelling material concerning the things we'll do to survive, but director Susanne Bier does little with the psychological complexities of PTSD. Nothing surprises or disconcerts. What's more, the title is misleading. This starts as the story of Michael and younger brother Jannick, but then seems to change its mind and become a family drama. Well acted and shot, but the characters are thinly drawn; grumpy dad, saintly wife, vulnerable kids, black sheep brother. The ending is deeply unsatisfying.
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