Published Jun 01, 2004Ever since ol' Walt Disney started making movies, Hollywood has enjoyed humanising furry creatures, whether animated (Bambi) or live action (Babe). Except usually these animals are given unrealistic human qualities, specifically voices, often provided by famous actors and actresses. But in 1989, French nature enthusiast/film director Jean-Jacques Annaud attempted to change this with The Bear. Through meticulous cinematography and clever editing, Annaud managed to gracefully tell the story of a grizzly bear without any voice-overs or narration.
Fifteen years later, Annaud (who has since tackled a different kind of animal, Brad Pitt, in 1997's disappointing Seven Years In Tibet) is at in again with Two Brothers, an equally powerful and moving story of two estranged tiger siblings. Without using the wide array of special effects that are now available, Annaud creates interesting and well-defined characters in Kumal and Sangha, two cubs searching for each other in a rich jungle full of immaculate temples and greedy hunters (including Memento's Guy Pearce, in one of the few human roles).
Though the film is being targeted toward very young audiences (who will absolutely adore this film), anyone of any age will find themselves genuinely moved by the storyline and even rooting for the unbearably cute main characters. The themes of both the importance of family and of environmental preservation are admirable and effectively portrayed. Even film enthusiasts will have to respect the skill and technique that Annaud obviously puts forth in ever shot of this unique film.
At a time when most films rely on modern technologies and clichéd storylines, Two Brothers manages to use an untainted filmmaking style to provide a wonderful experience for anyone willing to try something different. (Universal)