Trains to take you places in yourself

25 May

Family is the single most powerful unity of society. Bonds within this unit are indestructible and are for better or for worse, as seen in this dry comedy about three brothers. The tri-brother dichotomy can be the most dysfunctional and loving as it can get. Three drug dependent individuals are in the search for something missing in their lives, all the while mourning for their dead father.

How the movie characterized the three brothers is commendable as each one is well developed yet leaves a certain air of mystery surrounding their past. The eldest one, Francis, has bandage covering his head. He says that he was in a motorcycle accident but later it is revealed that he crashed on purpose. The reason behind it is never divulged. The second brother is named Peter and we know that he left his pregnant wife and is currently in India. He has constant headaches and pops pills like candy. The youngest brother is Jack, and nicknamed Peter as Rubby as he is always rubbing his temples. The pacifist among them, he likes to stay away from fights and keeps himself out of the elder two’s arguments. He is still very concerned of his ex-girlfriend’s activities since he is always checking her phone messages.

The short film preceding the feature proper was about Jack and his girlfriend. We see him lying comfortably in a messy, very lived-in bedroom in his bathrobe.  There is a sense that something is not right because of the very nature of where he is at that moment. The audience realizes that he is in a hotel and Paris because he just ordered room service in French. Hotels are not supposed to be lived in for a long time. But it seems as if he has made a home in the heights of this city of love.  I say that this preview of Jack’s former life was a nice touch as it added a deeper understanding of what he would say later on in the movie. The dialogue with his girlfriend was taken verbatim and integrated into a story that he was writing.

Francis is the manipulative yet well-meaning one as he lured his brothers into the trip under false pretences. We see that he likes to take control mainly based on the fact that he is the eldest. Sometimes he order for them and dictates what they want to eat. At first, the viewer would think that Francis just likes to dominate his youngers but  the three brothers find their mother and she does exactly the same thing to them. The audience will realize that Francis’ actions are heavily influenced by his parents and in a way he tried to become their de facto parent in the absence of both.

Peter is the most attached to their dead father. By insisting on driving his car to the funeral, scrounging for his belongings, and always saying that their father loved him the most are the ways that he preserves his memory of him. The death of their father must have affected him greatly and he is taking the longest to get over the pain thus the addiction to drugs. He does things that anger and frustrate Francis like picking fights and taking snakes on the train. He was the shared element in both of the reasons they were kicked out of the train in the first place. In a way, Peter just wants to be left alone and Francis is encroaching upon his loneliness.

The film despite the dark themes delivers itself in a comedic package and these three brothers have such great comedic timing that the film transforms into something lovable and quaint. Absolutely well-written, the script only emphasized the greatness of the actors and their dedication towards creating a painful picture of a hilarious journey towards finding themselves.

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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized


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