by Tracey Chandler, contributing blogger
Daniel Burman’s “Los Dos Hermanos” is the story of a brother and a sister, living in Buenos Aires in the later part of their lives and the difficulties which arise from dealing with family members whom you love unconditionally, but very rarely like. It is a beautiful tale told with care and understanding and not one to be missed. “Dos hermanos” came out strong in its world premiere in Argentina, posting the hottest per-screen gross and second in ticket sales in a market dominated by Hollywood. The $1.8 million-budget “Hermanos” grossed 1.96 million pesos ($506,000) on 77 screens from Thursday through Sunday, according to local B.O. tracker Ultracine.
It trailed 3D pics “Alice in Wonderland” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” Yet “Hermanos,” distributed by Pascual Condito’s Primer Plano, bested them with a per-screen gross of $6,757 compared with “Alice’s” $4,450 and “Dragon’s” $3,600.
Starring the legendary Antonio Gasalla and the equally famed Graciela Borges, “Los Dos Hermanos” is nothing less than a sheer delight from start to finish, playing with those elements of porteño lifestyle and culture that leave themselves open to be both loved and at the same time mocked with style and grace. Humour, talent, subtlety and truth, form the backbone to an incredibly good script and an equally impressive directorial triumph. keep reading a complete review. . .
Full of little quips, moments and unforgettable one-liners…. “¿Pero qué ropa es eso, Marco? ¿Sos uruguayo ahora?! Quitatelo!”…… or…… “A nadie le importa que tiene que decir usted,”….. as one of the opening lines of the very first scene, introducing the character of Susanna (Borges) with a bang, the script is a work of art. Throughout the film´s duration, the viewer is taken through moments of humour, sadness, affinity and self-reflection. The detail is astounding and undoubtedly appeals to the hearts of anyone living in Buenos Aires, surrounded by the exaggerated customs and quibbles of this crazy yet lovable porteño world.
Three scenes, in particular, stand out from the rest and include one of the early scenes between Marco (Gasalla) and his bed-ridden mother, arguing about why she wasn´t able to call him on his celphone, showing a flustered but incredibly patient Marco trying to explain the concept of “roaming,” which gradually becomes a regular inside joke, with very little success. The second shows Marco and Susanna using a pair of drinking glasses to listen through the wall to the neighbours next door, who actually don´t exist, as a means of being able to talk about things they have repressed deep down in their respectives pasts and unhappy presents. The result is a humourous one and depicts the two fully grown siblings as young and defenseless children once again, wanting to play and live in a world of dreams and make-believe; such a tempting example of how to live for so many of us!
The final scene of note is perhaps the climatic turning point in the movie for both central characters and results in the angry and hurt departure of Marco, leaving his selfish but desperately needy and apologetic sister to fend for herself. It marks a turning point in their relationship and provides some interesting moments for Gasalla to reveal the extent of his artistic on screen talents to show subtlety in feeling and depth of character. It´s incredibly moving to watch and very well shot; little colour, little movement and absolutely no background sound.
On top of the film itself, the cheesy tap-dancing number before the credits are played is a wonderful way to finish a film that really doesn´t have an ending without leaving the audience unfulfilled. Equally, the triumph of the picture is given further weighting considering the very few names that scroll through as part of the credits at the very end. It´s amazing to think that such a great movie could have been achieved with such a small cast and crew. It is inspiring.
So….. what to do now?…… Go and see it. It came to Buenos Aires cinemas on 1st April 2010 and so has a few weeks showing still to go yet. Don´t miss out.