The Sisters Brothers

Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie The Sisters Brothers. (Photo supplied: Film Infinity)
Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie The Sisters Brothers. (Photo supplied: Film Infinity)


In 1850s Oregon, a gold prospector is chased by the infamous duo of assassins, the Sisters brothers.


Sisters Brothers kicks off with the dust already hanging in the air. There’s a lot happening and it’s up to the viewer to figure out the backstory as they carefully weave all the threads together.

For some it might seems tedious and in most cases the effort is not worth the reward – but for the beauty that The Sisters Brothers brings it is but a small price to pay.

The viewer is first introduced to the Sisters brothers, Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix). The hard-hearted hitmen are hired by a man simply known as the Commodore (Rutger Hauer) who tasks them with killing Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed) – who he claims stole money from him and fled town.

The brothers are joined on their hunt by the debonair John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) - and so an intricate game of cat and mouse begins. Everything seems to be going according to plan until the foursome get swept up in the promising riches that the Californian Gold Rush brings.

A typical Western cliché of cowboys and crooks gets skilfully transformed into a poignant tale of brotherhood and comradery. The fast-paced chase scenes make way for lingering scenery shots and macho one-liners transfigure into elevated conversations with real depth and honesty.

Underneath it all beats a dark sense of humour that ups the tempo just when the story needs it most. French director Jacques Audiard brings something completely different to the American Western genre - proving that perhaps as an outsider he offers a fresh perspective on a narrative that can so easily become stale.

Exceptional acting by an outstanding cast is what clinches the deal and ultimately transforms this film into an absolute cinematic delight. Once enthralled by the storyline and embedded within the fictional world so masterfully crafted, the viewer becomes part of a gratifying journey that ends with pure delectation. If there was ever any doubt that there is heart within this robust tale of death and destruction, rest assured that you’ll find it radiating from its soul-stirring finale.


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