About halfway through this film I realized I didn’t like it. Perhaps that isn’t enough time to definitively discern a film’s essence, but along the time during the 45 minute mark where the joke of having conjoined twins play in a punk band together got worn out, I realized that there was nothing here for me. I kept hoping for some funny repartee, some semi-serious moments of honest melancholy, or even some corny Siamese twin humor that never came. I didn’t know what to expect out of a movie like this, really; perhaps something funny, perhaps something that would assuage my savage heart, perhaps something that would make me jump up and down like a fidgety Popeye. Whatever I wanted, though, I was left wanting, and that’s never a good feeling.
This indie dramedy focuses on two brothers joined at the hip being sold by their horrible parental units to a music manager who turns them into a rock and roll freakshow. The brothers, Tom and Barry, become punk rockers in every sense of the smug, self-satisfied word. Surprisingly, they seem to grow more and more popular, leading to a music journalist following their exploits. It’s an odyssey into the dark and weird side of rock, the fakery of punk, and the tensions that arise when two brothers who literally can’t leave each other alone become suddenly infamous overnight.
Well, if that sounds interesting to you, be forewarned that it’s not so much preoccupied with the linear story as they are with the stylizations and the music of useless teen aggression, punk. I never liked punk, and with its insistent attitude spraying me in the face like a skunk wearing a studded jacket, it only exacerbates my dislike of this film. It’s a movie that makes no pretentions of its love of youthful rebellion, even if it serves no other purpose than to piss off adults. It’s a philosophy that quickly loses momentum the older one gets, and even once one grows past their teens, it seems a little silly. But Brothers of The Head has its roots firmly planted and drinking deep from this egocentric and youth-centric idiom, and while I respect it as an ideal, as an ideology for a film to lean on it falls somewhat flat.
It just doesn’t seem focused. Much like the frantic speed and composition of the music itself, the film has absolutely no idea where it will end, so it kind of lollygags around for a time until petering out into the ether. It’s a genre hodgepodge straight from Indie-ville, whose inhabitants constantly pose the question: “What’s a genre anyway, dude? Can’t something be one thing and another at the same time?” The answer to that question is, obviously, yes, but this film takes the cake. It’s a little of everything, but not much of anything. We run the gamut from comedy to drama without caring too much about anyone.
The twins are the main focal point, and I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about either of them. They had nothing but a sob story, and not enough personality between them to justify an entire movie being based on them. All the scumbags they amass on the way to the top of the punk scene are pretty worthless too. Laura, the journalist writing the article about them, is the only character I genuinely liked. She has an interesting voice, an intriguing point of view from outside the circus sideshow atmosphere the twins seem to lug around with them. For the most part, though, the characters were well acted but poorly conceived.
I can’t even think about this movie too much more. It was so wonky and wishy-washy, and some other W words that I left the experience with a bad taste in my mouth. Brothers of The Head is one of those movies that should have been a graphic novel, or a fake indie memoir. Whatever they were trying to convey becomes lost in a scene, a style, and an idea that only exists for the young and selfish, and I really can’t abide by it too much. If you like twins, but don’t have anywhere else to go for your weird taste in twin movies, go watch Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. Skip this one, for your sake. In fact, skip it twice just to make a point. I give Brothers of The Head 4 conjoined punks out of 10. Cheers!
Tomorrow I tackle a difficult subject for me, a subject that I’ve been trying to avoid since January. That’s right; I’m talking about Vin Diesel. Come back tomorrow, when I discuss Find Me Guilty!!!