Review: Broken Horses

Broken Horses is an American film from Indian writer and director Vidhu Vinod Chopra. This has gotten some amazing accolades from other film makers like Alfonso Cuaron and James Cameron. This film has not got a very good reception from audiences or some critics. So what did I think of this film?

This film stars Anton Yelchin as Jakey and Chris Marquette as Buddy. They are brothers and Buddy is mentally challenged. This film starts out with Buddy as a young boy meeting his father played by Thomas Jane at the shooting range. They have a little father-son talk and out of nowhere the father is shot and killed. We then see a young Jakey playing his violin at a recital. When Buddy goes back to work after his father’s funeral, he meets crime boss Julius Hench played by Vincent D’Onofrio. Hench tells Buddy who killed his father and where he lives, buddy goes to the house with no fear and kills the man. The film flashes forward 8 years when Jakey is getting married soon to Vittoria played by María Valverde. He goes back to his hometown to visit his brother and have him be his best man at the wedding. Buddy has been working for Hench for the last 8 years and Jakey sees he is different person then he remembers. Will Buddy be able to quite his job with Hench and go live with his brother? Will Jakey be able to accept his brother the way he is now? Will Hench let either of the brothers live?

This film also has Sean Patrick Flanery in a small but disturbing role worth mentioning. This film is beautifully filmed with a classic film noir feel in a number of scenes. The story is a simple but very dark plot. The brother dynamic is interesting, with the blood thicker then water theory tested. This movie adds up to a very good film. It is not the best low-budget neo noir I have seen this year, but it is worth watching. I think fans of noir will enjoy this film even if the general movie public doesn’t.

Favorite Tidbit: This is actually a remake of a Bollywood film called Parinda from 1989. That film was written and directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra as well. Parinda was one of the first neo noir Bollywood films to make a profit, ushering in a wave of Bollywood noir film. Here is another film I will be adding to my never-ending “must see list.”

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