Film Capsule: My Brother the Devil

If there is one thing worth despising about the average mainstream movie critic, it’s that he or she makes no worthwhile distinction between the terms review and recap. I mean, forget about the fact that spitting back an entire film in one tidy 3-inch chunk is just as rude as it is lazy. Consider – instead – what an absolute disservice it represents to one’s readers. The only way any critic could possibly justify such behavior might be in the event he or she was warding audiences away from a bad movie. Above and beyond that, you’ve really got to wonder how or why some of these people got their pedigree.

Never has said dynamic been on more embarrassing display than when considering a full-length feature like My Brother the Devil. Reason being, this is a film in which everything from the actual name to the actual game is completely incumbent upon key plot twists. Present a full-time recapper with a conundrum like that, and he or she will more than likely end up qualifying the entire review with some weak-ass media tagline like “SPOILER ALERT” or “Do not read beyond this point if … “. And the crime of it is, most editors won’t only endorse this type of behavior, they’ll simultaneously consider it a worthwhile means of traffic.

Fuck you, Mr. Mainstream Movie Recapper. Fuck you, and the advanced fucking journalism degree you wandered in on.

But I digress.

The point being, the best way to do justice to a movie like My Brother The Devil (at least in any film critic’s capacity) is to simply recommend that your audience go see it. My Brother offers up some pretty stunning bait-and-switch, combining elements of Shakespeare, The Bible, The Quran, and even West Side Story along the way. The screenplay is taut, the cinematography is crisp, and the acting is believable. I mean, sure, My Brother puts the audience through stiff rigors in order to get where it is going, but the film ultimately succeeds because it manages to transcend veiled lines of race, creed, strata, and gender. It’s Romeo and Juliet made for the modern era, quite frankly. And – assuming you have any interest in such things – My Brother the Devil is most certainly worth the time, if not the admission, to go see.

(My Brother the Devil opens this Friday, March 22nd, at the Landmark Sunshine in New York City, with a national rollout to follow.)

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