So the big question this movie is asking is.. If you're brother died. And his wife is Natalie Portman, would you hit on her? And my answer is, I wouldn't even wait for him to die hahahahaha.
Brothers is about Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal playing brothers. Tobey is the responsible brother that every parent will tell their children, "Why can't you be like Tobey." And Jake is the brother who's always getting in to trouble. So Tobey gets recruited to join the war in Iraq and through some horrible miscommunication, Natalie Portman, Tobey's wife thinks he's dead. This is when Jake steps up to try to hold the family together through this trying time. But things change when Tobey does come back from war... and something is very odd about him.
Now if you watched the trailer to this movie, it is going to sell you something that this movie is not at all, which is a very cheesy soap opera. People would think this is a film about Jake and Natalie having an affair behind Tobey Maguire's back, which is totally not that. This film is really an experimentation of war and how it affects people directly in the war and the people at home. Brothers is a lot like The Deer Hunter except Brothers has Natalie Portman for me to look at.
This movie has two plots really. One being Jake Gyllenhaal and the family trying to move on after believing that Tobey Maguire's dead and Jake finally beginning to take responsibility. The other side of the story follows Tobey Maguire in terrorist captivity and being forced to do some really messed up shit. And when I say messed up.. I mean like Saw kind of messed up. They drive his character into the absolute breaking point.
And when he comes back, he isn't the same person that he was back then. He begins to act strange and his family tries not to talk about what happened to him much.
You know, I have never thought of Tobey Maguire as scary. Even when he was Spider-Man, I always though, "Pfft.. I could beat up this nerd." But damn. Those blue eyes he has, they become frightening. He just stares off into space looking directly at the camera like he was some predator marking you as his dinner. he starts being really mean to his kids, he begins suspecting his wife of cheating with his brother. He just becomes downright scary.
You really feel scared for Natalie Portman's character once her husband finally cracks and lets out this huge barrage of rage unto her in the climax of the movie. The scene looked like any other drunk husband going off on his wife but that's not the case for Tobey Maguire. He's doing this because he can't come to grips with the terrible things he's done in Iraq and he's taking it out on his family.
Natalie Portman is great in this movie to. She is not really in the movie much because it is more on Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal but I think she did a great job as the wife. This is what Amidala should have been in Revenge of the Sith. A helpless woman watching the man she loves turn into something destructive and not being able to do anything.
And that girl who plays Tobey Maguire's daughter.. Bailee Madison. She gave the greatest child performances I have ever seen! This girl's like 10 and she balances so many emotions so well at the same time. Like the dinner scene with the chick from Reaper, my God was she phenomenal in that. Maybe not an Oscar nomination but at least give this little kid a Best Young Talent from the Spirit Awards or something.
A great war drama with some really knock out of the park performances by the three leads and Bailee Madisson. I did feel that there were some scenes that could have been cut out to make the movie more bearable to watch but it's still a great film overall.