Brothers is a low budget British drama set within Manchester’s criminal underworld. Director Angel Delgado’s film transcends its financial limitations to be a well crafted thriller which is as much a document detailing the thriving criminality inflicting Britain today, as it is a piece of entertainment.
Lewis Fletcher plays Ryan, a successful criminal who ends up over his head when he’s accused of stealing from his bosses. His younger bother Chris (Tom Collins) is eager to follow his brother into a life of crime and he gets an opportunity to do so when he’s offered a chance to carry out a ‘hit’. However, unbeknownst to Chris, the target is his brother.
Angel Delgado’s film contains many of the tropes of the modern gangster movie, but there’s an investment in characters here lacking in other similar British films. Delgado gets the most out of his budget, delivering a visually impressive feature that is filled with a tremendous amount of energy. The film doesn’t have the budget for huge set pieces, but a sense of realism is created by keeping things small and intimate. There’s a particularly impressive (and well edited) foot chase in the middle of the movie which is as visceral as anything you’ll see on screen.
Shot around Greater Manchester, Brothers makes the most of its locations and many of the actors are first-timers. This gives the film a vérité that adds much to it’s sociological agenda of holding a mirror up to Manchester’s criminal culture. This doesn’t glamorise crime like many other British films: it merely portrays the reality of the situation without overt preaching.
Brothers delivers the goods as a crime drama, hitting all the right marks by mixing drama and thrills. The film’s low budget is used to its advantage, creating a sense of reality that helps give it a harder edge. Brothers shows that you can craft a strong film from the well trodden crime drama and still deliver something quite fresh and energetic.