Newest Reviews
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
We Need to Do Something
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
  Two Brothers Tiger, Tiger
Year: 2004
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Guy Pearce, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Freddie Highmore, Oanh Nguyen, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Moussa Maaskri, Vincent Scarito, Maï Anh Le, Jaran 'See Tao' Petcharoen, Stéphanie Lagarde, Bernard Flavien, Annop Varapanya, David Gant, Teerawat Mulvilai
Genre: Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: In 1920s French Indochina the jungles were teeming with life, and not all of it of the animal variety as opportunist Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce) led a band of looters to take back to the West what treasures they could find in the abandoned temples - if they couldn't lay claim to the bigger statues, they would simply cut off their heads and take those back with them as the price was just as lucrative. But there was another trade in the jungle, and that was capturing those animals, so little did Aidan know when he saved one of his colleagues from a tiger attack what he was getting into...

Actually, never mind about the actors in Two Brothers, it was quite clear what the filmmakers were interested in at the most were those tigers. The two brothers of the title are a pair of actual cubs (no puppets or CGI) who we follow from their infancy (from their conception, in fact) to adulthood where we have tentative hopes for their future. That's because the caption at the end tells us there were a hundred thousand tigers alive in the world at the time this was set, but now, when the film was released, there were around five thousand, a sobering statistic which offers a good reason why this was made.

Director Jean-Jacques Annaud had made animal fiction with real life subjects before, and his style of glowing natural imagery was very much suited to those, yet the accusation that his work had a better grasp on that sort of thing rather than any innovative narrative was well to the fore here, with a plot relying overmuch on convenience and coincidence in its attempts to appeal to the emotions. To his credit he was careful to mark out exactly why the tigers were facing extinction, and the locals were just as wary of them as the tigers were of the locals thanks to encounters where the villagers came off the worst - little wonder they were glad to see the back of them.

But Annaud was not going to side with those who hunted tigers for money rather than because they'd attacked someone and were maneaters, so it was that we were offered motives for their preservation that few reasonable audiences could disagree with. What they might have had more problems with was the cutesy depiction of the creatures - we never see them catch, kill and eat a single thing, for example, as if that aspect of their lives was all too unpalatable when they were meant to be seen as the victims we were on the side of, which spoke to a difficult to shift dishonesty. This did result in a bias weighted very much against most of the human characters, except for the morally ambiguous McRory and the small son (Freddie Highmore) of the French administrator (Jean-Claude Dreyfus).

Certainly the locals are shown to be nothing less than ignorant when it came to preserving their environment, which you may have mixed feelings about, but really this was an adventure story which happened to star two tigers, so we are introduced to them living with nature, then when their father dies at McRory's hands (or rifle, anyway) he "saves" one which ends up in a tawdry circus big cat taming act, replacing the old and decrepit tiger who is promptly made into a rug (!). Meanwhile his brother is also captured and becomes an ill-advised pet for the little boy, until he is imprisoned in the menagerie of one of the ruler's sons. But they will meet again, in a melodramatic fashion which would be more convincing if Annaud had perhaps emphasised the fairy tale nature of the story more: all those realistic shots of the animals interacting leave you wondering if a documentary would be more in his line. Still, it brought viewers closer to tigers than most would likely get safely, and its environmental message was hard to quibble too much about. Music by Stephen Warbeck.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1961 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: