Andrew and Michael are brothers, and they're also best friends. They do everything together, from watching and playing sports to socializing, and they enjoy an easygoing, playful rapport through it all.
An unfortunate accident separates the brothers, seemingly forever. But unable to live without his closest companion, Andrew builds a robotic version of his brother and painstakingly teaches it to recreate the relationship he needs. But Andrew discovers that some things are impossible to teach.
Written and directed by Kris Sundberg, this short sci-fi drama has the warm, cozy look of a feel-good family film, capturing the affectionate bond between two brothers. Mixing in past video footage with their present-day adventures, the brothers share their lives, with their playful energy carrying over from childhood into their grown-up lives.
The film builds this relationship through images, editing and a lovely musical score, with a striking lack of dialogue. But the absence of spoken words reflects the bond between Andrew and Michael, who carry on like little kids, wrestling and scrapping with one another. Actors Andrew and Michael Pack capture the bond between the brothers, portraying the paradox of young boys trapped in the bodies of grown men as well as the palpable love they feel for one another.
Their silliness goes too far one day, resulting in a tragic accident that leaves one brother behind to cope with the absence of another. From here, the film shifts overtly into sci-fi, with subtle and well-done FX work helping to capture the process of rebuilding a brother, both as a physical entity and then as a social and emotional one. Andrew teaches the robot how to share experiences and participate in them, building memories and relationships together. It's a simple but touching passage in the film that touches on the powerful, ineffable connection in families, and just how far we're willing to go to keep it.
But just when viewers settle into what is a seemingly cozy, uncomplicated heart-warming film, "Br0thers" delivers a conclusion that darkens the warm and fuzzy proceedings. It doesn't quite come out of nowhere; in fact, what makes it powerful is its logic, outside of any sentiment and emotion. And it renders the brothers' bond even more tightly woven together, one following the other, even into the unknown.