Bro (Telugu,SonyLIV)

Starring Naveen Chandra, Avika Gor, Sai Ronak, Sanjana Sarathy

Directed by Karthik Thupurani

Rating: **

It’s heartbreaking to not fall in love with this earnest melodrama about filial love . But ,sigh, if the truth be told, the director overdoes it. The film suffers from an overdose of sentimentality , so much so that the audiences are soon gone from sniffing to puking in their handkerchiefs.

Such a colossal waste of an opportunity to do a genuinely heartfelt film on post-tragedy repentance and atonement! Initially when we see the bhai-bahen ka pyar from rose-tinted filters we feel : chalo, these two siblings will grow up. They do. The film doesn’t.

Trapped in the ivorytower of infantilism #Bro goes from one state of inert euphoria to another in the vain search of an idyllic bonding. The aim (noble as it is) is to find a state of arcadian rapture for the siblings. Hence grumpy grieving bro Madhav(Naveen Chandra) wakes up to find his beloved dead sister Subbu(Avika Gore) in his van.

Subbu looks nothing like a ghost.She is neither ethereal nor unattainable. Just an over-talkative teenager with serious bro issues that must be sorted before she rests in peace. As the bossy behan bullies her way through her bro’s problem daddy issues, girlfriend issues, Subbu’s own unfinished boyfriend issue I got the uncomfortable feeling that I was watching a feel-good concoction , so over-sweetened , it made me nauseous.

Also—and this is where the writers demonstrate their laziness—the issues that plague Madhav’s life seem to be there only so that his sister’s spirit can sort them out. After a while the whole exercise in feelgoodism begins to feel manufactured and manipulative, and not even in any subtle way.

By the time we come to Subbu’s own unresolved romance with her unconditionally devoted boyfriend(well played by Sai Ronak) the film begins to feel like an abracadabra version of Josh Boone’s The Fault In Our Stars.

In spite of its unstoppable sentimentality #Bro never feels real or convincing. A large part of its failure to win the audiences over stems from the poor production values. Although Subbu is a ghost she is never framed in FX-generated ethereality .All we see is a somewhat annoying girl in a yellow dress plonking herself in a van trying to make herself useful as everyone is taken for a ride.

Don’t accuse the film’s makers of not trying.