Two mischievous twin tiger cubs live a carefree life in an exotic jungle amidst beautiful ancient ruins. But one day, an act of fate forces them apart - one is sold to the circus, and the other becomes the governor's son's... more » pet. Witness their remarkable journey as they grow up, reunite and find their way home.« less
Mimi C. from TORRANCE, CA Reviewed on 6/13/2010...
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jo V. (Jo) from BOISE, ID Reviewed on 12/23/2008...
a totally Disnified story. Guaranteed to give a completely erroneous view of a predator's life. Should have been done as a cartoon.
1 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Duane S. (superpoet) from FORT WORTH, TX Reviewed on 4/23/2008...
I totally agree with WNBC-TV's Jeffrey Lyons's quote," This is the best family film of the year!" The year was 2004, but in 2008, it still rings true for this viewer.
The story begins with the birth of the brothers. The mother is killed by a professional hunter. One of the cubs is captured and taken to a circus. The other tiger is taken to a gov't consul to be his child's pet. After disrupting everything in the household and maiming the family dog, the tiger is taken secretly to the country's president to be put into his private zoo. The president has a contest between the two tigers, but they are unable to kill each other. The president is enraged. They escape and are to be killed, but escape the fire trap set for them. The movie ends lovingly with both tigers in the jungle.
Three tigers in the film are "killed" : the cubs's parents and a circus tiger. If you have children under 6, you might have to view this with them. The killing isn't brutal, but to some chldren might be too intense.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright...
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 06/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Two Brothers', a UK-French film collaboration project under the direction of Jean-Jacques Annaud (known for 'The Bear' and 'The Name of the Rose') and written by Alain Godard and Annaud, is at once the heartwarming and heartwrenching tale of two Bengal tigers, While the advertising makes it seem like a Disney-esque film, this is not really one for younger children, so parents should beware. In today's world there are many people who are not particularly nice toward wild animals; a hundred years ago, the time period during which this was set, there was even less regard for the great animals of the jungle, seen as objects for sport and amusement rather than creatures of integrity in their own right. I went with two adults, one of whom felt it necessary to leave the theatre for a brief while; there were children present in the theatre, and again I saw parents taking their children out at some of the more troublesome scenes - unfortunately, many didn't return for the happy ending. This is a great film, worth five stars without doubt, but alas, the marketing is inappropriate, and would get a single star from me.Guy Pearce plays the 'great white hunter' character of McRory, a world-famous hunter-explorer of European origin and fame, a known author as well as second-class Indiana Jones, looking for what will sell back in the London auction houses -- he changes from animal skins and tusks to statues and antiquities. There are no other actors of wide fame, but all do a good job, from the Westerners in the French Indochine to the locals, from tribal persons to high potentates. All seem to have reasons to be against the tigers, save a few, who eventually come round and help the tiger brothers through their troubles.The real stars of the film, of course, are the tiger cubs Kumal and Sangha, in addition to the other tigers, including the mother Tigress and the great Tiger Father. The lead trainer, Thierry Le Portier, a fellow Frenchman to Annuad who worked on 'The Bear', and trainer Randy Miller stated that 30 tigers in all were used, and one of the biggest efforts was to have tiger cubs available -- they grow so rapidly, they might not be the same size over the course of shooting. In the end, the effects and training were magnificent, and given the kinds of harrowing treatment the tigers were to have received (usually, thankfully, just off-screen), one truly hopes the 'no animals were harmed in this production' pledge at the end was in earnest.The plot is a twisty one, following the two tiger brothers who are separated early, and each have different adventures (not all of them nice, and many downright disturbing) until they are reunited in a festival, when they are able to recapture their kinship and their brotherly playfulness. The movie has the obligatory happy ending; I was on the verge of tears from frustration and sorrow at different points of the film, but the only time I actually did shed a tear was as the sunlight pierced the tell-tale marker on one of the tigers (and those who see the film will understand this, but I don't want to give away the ending). The settings in Cambodia and Thailand are natural settings, still undisturbed jungles in many areas, and the temple settings as the home of the tiger family is a wonderful device. The Angor Wat Temples, now very popular tourist destinations, had to be closed to such traffic during the filming. The music is dramatic and playful as appropriate, but very much in the background; rarely did I notice the music for the visuals. A wonderful film in many ways, it is a statement for humane treatment of animals. Unfortunately, this sometimes involves disturbing scenes of mistreatment, which again makes this a film not for young children. Parental discretion and previewing is advised."
Beautiful, moving, rewarding.
Kimba W. Lion | the East Coast | 06/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An absolutely beautiful movie, and a very moving story. Definitely a movie I will be recommending to everyone. As writer/director Annaud has commented, and as anyone who knows animals can tell you, tigers are intelligent, emotional creatures and the premise of "Two Brothers" is simple: the tigers want to live their lives in peace. The movie does not sugar-coat the way tigers have been treated (not that there is any on-screen gore) and so may prove to be an emotional roller-coaster for the sympathetic. Hopefully the richness and skill of the storytelling will reach out and make even more people sympathetic to their fellow creatures."Two Brothers" is beautifully photographed, and very intelligent in its depiction of the tigers. They even got the tigers' vocalizations right--tigers have more of a vocabulary than most movie makers seem to know about, but Annaud got it right.Favorite scenes: The woman reading typical early-20th-century "big game hunting adventures" to her son while he and the tiger cub snooze happily side-by-side, and the central human's personal epiphany when he realizes that the animals he's been hunting can think and love."Two Brothers" asks that you open your heart, and it rewards you greatly if you do. It absolutely deserves being called a "family movie"."
Family Bonds and Men's Cages
Caesar M. Warrington | Lansdowne, PA United States | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director Jean-Jacques Annaud knows how to open our hearts.
In 1988 his acclaimed masterpiece, THE BEAR, introduced us to that orphaned cub whose feisty and inquisitive ways quickly won the viewers over. This time, with TWO BROTHERS, it's Annaud's extraordinary tigers that warm our hearts and stir our sympathies.
In the ruins of the jungle-covered temples of 1930s French Indochina two tiger cubs are born, later named by their human masters Kumal and Sangha. Kumal is the fierce one. He is brave, curious and quite protective of the playful but rather timid Sangha.
The world of men brings tragedy to the tiger family. The cubs' father is killed and Kumal, separated from his mother and brother, is captured and eventually sold to a small-time circus. Soon after, Sangha also gets caught by a hunting party. Initially a pet and playmate for the local French administrator's young son, he unfortunately ends up in the menagerie of a native prince where he is 'trained' (in another words, tortured) to become a fighter for sport.
A year later we see that Man's sadism and greed has caused a twisted role reversal on the tigers. The once aggressive Kumal is now a skilled circus attraction, complacent in doing tricks for his masters. Sangha, his timid and loving nature beaten and starved out of him, is now a trained and angry killer. When the prince challenges the circus to have their tiger fight his champion, Kumal and Sangha are reunited as enemies.
As every pet owner will tell you, animals are as much individuals as any human being. Each cat or dog is unique, possessing his or her own personality, character, intelligence. Annaud's magic is in his abilty to capture that special spirit of every animal he films. As with THE BEAR, this gifted filmmaker doesn't merely focus on the animals' physical beauty, he goes deeper, highlighting feelings and emotions. One sees the sense of loss on the face of the exhausted mother tiger when she can no longer keep up with the speed of the car that carries away her remaining cub. Baby Kumal's precocious ferocity shows in his powerful eyes and the snarl of his mouth. Love and anger, joy and remorse show upon the faces and body movements of these tigers. The scene where the old tiger, Mighty Caesar, is being led outside to be put down and looks up at the cub Kumal, who he had taken under his nuturing protection, conveys not only all of his life's sadness and regret, it also tries to offer one last lesson and a hope to this little one who will now be replacing him. Most human actors today could only wish they possessed half of this cat's expressive abilities.
Speaking of human actors, I must mention the great performance that Guy Pearce gives as the English adventurer and hunter, Aidan McRory. His character truly is the one most responsible for the unlucky fate of the tiger cubs. To protect one of his baggage handlers, he shoots the two brothers' father and takes away Kumal. McRory, however, quickly grows fond of little Kumal and his experiences with the cub eventually lead him to abandon sport hunting. Another fantastic actor here is Freddie Highmore, who plays the young French boy who loves Sangha.
TWO BROTHERS, filmed on-location in Cambodia and Thailand, is one entrancing film that will hold your interest and your heart. From the opening scene of the male tiger stalking the jungle's density in search of a mate until the end, when the brother tigers must make their decisions, you will feel a part of this world.
A beautiful and magical movie."
EriKa | Iceland | 11/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am constantly surprised that people seem to think that just because there are animals in a movie, that means it is a "children's movie". There is something strangely askew when films dealing with nature are equated with films for children, when in fact, the harsh brutality of nature is often something from which people want to protect their children (perhaps foolishly). The "Disney" presentation of nature distorts reality to such a degree that I am surprised they have not contrived to update Bambi to a more modern and viewer-friendly tale.
Deux Freres is an understated and beautiful film with an underlying message. The film presents nature and its players in a way that does not preach, does not assume, and does not condescend. The danger in which the tigers (of the film's title) find themselves is quite real, quite pervasive, and can therefore be disturbing to sensitive viewers."
A rare diamond among children's films
Gregory Dowling | Augusta, ME United States | 07/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Two Brothers" is a very rare film among the bombastically stupid kiddie pleasers that have filled in the movie landscape for some time now. It does what the best children's films do: It rises above the genre in such a way that it is not a children's film. It supposes that children are intelligent, thoughtful, and emotionally eloquent, and these terms describe the film well. The story surrounds two tiger cubs separated by fate and how they change the humans with whom they interact. One is rescued by a hunter and the other is taken in by a young French boy. The film meditates on issues such as animal cruelty and the choices we make in regard to nature itself. Jean Jacques Annaud, known for films such as "Seven Years in Tibet", and the similar, "The Bear," has made a film of unusual power. As in "The Bear", the dialogue is kept to a minimum, and story is all the more eloquent for it. There is no rapid fire, sound bite dialogue. When the two human leads speak (a great white hunter played by Guy Pearce & young Freddie Highmore) they communicate through, simple, direct dialogue that is somehow more moving by sparing us drizzly speeches or dewey eyed sentimentality. The tigers are wonderous to watch. The movie was shot on High Definition Digital Video instead of film, which also helps with the special effects. The illusion is created by simply filming the animals and adding some CGI alterations here and there. The result is magical. This is somehting of an art house children's film, it feels like a French import and its pacing and visual style. It is distinctly "non-Americanized" and I am grateful for that. While film's like "Shrek 2" which is clever yet obvious dominate the box office, I am hopeful that audiences will discover this film either in its theatrical engagement or on video and DVD. Kids who have seen it have told me it is the best movie they have ever seen, which I think is due to the fact there are no longer any films that credit them with having an attention span or interest in a film that has a fully realized, emotional story (save of course PJ Hogan's spectacular version of "Peter Pan", another underrated gem). More than that, adults will be every bit as enchanted and as taken by suprise as I was."