My Brother the Devil (2012)

Sayyid : "The strong man is the one who can control himself when he's angry."
by Sally El Hosaini
with James Floyd, Fady Elsayed and Saïd Taghmaoui

The cover immediately hooked me, not only did the title look intriguing, but the characters on it as well as the many praises did it. It seemed rather unknown too which made me more interested.

My Brother the Devil tells the story of two brothers of Egyptian decent living in the suburbs of London. The street violence is never far and the younger will try to follow in the steps of his elder. The drugs, money and gun motto can only take them so far and they soon have difficulties facing the consequences of their actions.

What strikes first in this movie is the photography. Most of the shots are really wonderful and artistic, which is no small feat given the mostly bricks and concrete layout of a suburban district. The characters could be taken as stereotypical, but I didn't feel it was taken too far, it felt realistic to me. The story holds a few twists which is good given the fact that street violence movies tend to always rotate around the revenge theme, to have a few extra elements is always welcome. The brothers really carry the movie through their actors.

I liked: The photography, I mean the filming of pretty much every scene. Believable characters. Doesn't fall in the classical street violence scenario.

I disliked: A little convenient at time, for example a scaffolding being there when peeking is needed. The helplessness of the parents who seem oblivious to everything going on in their children's lives.

A good surprise overall, not as spectacular as cult french La Haine (1995) but more visually beautiful. A good little gem if you're into violent youth movies that aren't about the action scenes but the psychological sides of it.


Post a Comment