6/10 | 11.Mar.12
Brat | Брат | Brother
Aleksei Balabanov: 1997)
BROTHER (“Brat”, 1997) is a low-key crime film about Danila, an aimless and uncomplicated young man (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.: think Brad Pitt, only Russian, charming, and cute), recently out of the military, who’s sent to Leningrad to stay out of trouble and to get a job through his “successful businessman” older brother. Danila is unfazed to discover that his brother’s business is carrying out contract killings, and before you know it Danila carries out one of his brother’s hits for him, calmly and in a professional manner and without getting all that excited about it. In fact, the only thing that really interests Danila is his beloved (and godawful) New Wave Russian band Nautilus. Not that he’s a robotic killer. Far from it, he’s gentle and kind and operates with a code of honor all his own.
BROTHER was a huge hit in Russia and apparently made both Bodrov and the director, Aleksei Balabanov, hot properties. It’s best appreciated, I imagine, as an artifact from those early post-Soviet years of Yeltsin’s presidency and the rise of the Russian kleptocracy. It’s not much of a movie and it was clearly made with a minimal budget, but I liked the emotional tone and I *really* liked Sergey Bodrov. A lot. 6/10. [3/11/12]
[P.S. from 15 March] Oh no! Segei Bodrov, Jr., the lead actor in the movie BROTHER (Брат, 1997) that I saw a few days ago and kind of liked but I flipped over him (I thought he was a movie natural who reminded me a little of Brad Pitt, except that Bodrov is actually charming and cute) died!