So much average
A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.
what a terribly boring film. I'm sorry but this is absolutely not deserving of best picture and will be forgotten quickly. Entertaining and engaging cinema? No. Nothing performances with flat faces and mistaking silence for subtlety.
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
The veteran producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra ventures into Hollywood and delivers a film that might not be able to impress the west as well as the east due to its overused, stale subject that cinema lovers have seen umpteen times all over the world in various films from the same genre.No doubt VVC never made BROKEN HORSES for the Indian audience. But since he did release it in India, therefore reviewing it from an Indian perspective the film manages to impress just marginally due to its technical excellence alone, majorly because the viewers here have already seen everything presented in the film earlier in director's own PARINDA released in 1989. In fact it was quite surprising and weird to know that even after 25 years of successful film-making with innovative, creative minds such as Hirani, Aamir and more, VVC still could think of remaking PARINDA only while moving on to Hollywood.For friends willing to know the details of similarities between PARINDA and BROKEN HORSES, here too we have childhood reference of two kids (Jackie & Anil), heartfelt love of elder brother who joins the crime world, a crazy gangster (Nana Patekar) having an obsession with fire whose family was burnt alive, the younger brother (Anil) returning after a long gap, his audition for entering the gang killing a helping friend (Sameer Kakkar), his revenge from the gangster, the gang rivalry with another mobster (Moosa – Tom Alter), the mobster helping the younger brother, the young one's love affair with a girl (Madhuri), their marriage and first night selected for their killing (where the yacht gets replaced by a ranch) and then the finale with (thankfully) a change where everyone doesn't die like in PARINDA. So the only single difference in the storyline is the missing character of Anupam Kher and a GODFATHER inspired sequence that goes missing in BROKEN HORSES playing it safe.Looking at these exact similar sequences and the dead slow pace of the film, the film is bound to be rejected by the English film viewers here in India and the fact was pretty clear when I found myself all alone sitting in the theatre in its very first show which was also running after my repeated request made to the theatre manager.Coming to the western audience, the subject is certainly not new for them too after watching several movies made on the plot of a mole seeking his revenge or related subjects based on gang wars beginning from the classic ON THE WATERFRONT released way back in 1954. Moreover the annoyingly slow place in the beginning and then few shallow sequences like 'the interview' doesn't let you form any great opinion about the film either quite frankly. However the emotional execution of VVC, along with some well directed violent scenes, impressive cinematography, a fine background score and noteworthy production values (all western technicians) are sure to get noticed in Hollywood, coming from an Indian film-maker representing an industry known to be obsessed with music, songs and dances.In the performances, Christopher G. Marquette takes a big lead as Buddy and does manage to engage the viewer emotionally (he actually saves the movie) whereas Anton Yelchin presents a simple yet honest act as his younger brother becoming the rebel.D'Onofrio trying to be the cunningly ruthless gangster doesn't work really and the same can be said about Sean Patrick Flanery (the music teacher) and Maria Valverde too playing the lady love of Anton.In short, it was quite hard to understand the reason why Vidhu Vinod Chopra couldn't think of any fresh innovative idea while venturing into Hollywood. Plus after watching the film, it makes you both laugh & wonder together that why he was denying the fact of BROKEN HORSES being an exact version of his PARINDA in all those interviews and press statements before its release? May be he did it on purpose to get a get good initial before the secret was out.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra's English Film Broken Horses is a different, yet emotionally packed take on the American Wild West, set somewhere near the Mexican border.With heavy doses of bromance, the tale delves on the bond between two orphaned brothers. It explores their sensitive and caring nature towards each other.Narrated in a linear fashion, it is the story of Buddy Heckum, a sensitively hooked slow learner, his musically inclined younger brother Jacob Heckum, who is also known as Jackey, and a conniving gangster Julius Hench, who in order to safeguard his own interests tries to separate the two brothers. This forms the crux of the tale.Fifteen years ago after the death of their father Gabriel Heckum, the Sheriff of this border town, the boys are left to fend for themselves. Julius takes Buddy under his wings and instigates him with, "There are lots of bad people out there, somebody got to stop them
Miguel Stanton killed your dad and you cannot let him get away. You kill him."Buddy takes revenge. This "job" was his initiation into the crime world. And in order to protect Jackey from his world of crime, the ever caring older brother packs him off to New York to let him pursue his dream of becoming a violinist.Years later, Jackey plans to get married and settle down with Vittoria (Maria Valverde).Buddy insists that Jackey return home to have a look at the surprise wedding gift he has in store for them. The gift was "a promise he had made".Jackey obliges. It is then, when he is in his hometown, that Jackey learns about Julius' sinister plan and the film garners momentum.Broken Horses is Christopher G. Marquette's turf. He engages you as Buddy and gets you hooked. He alternates between a simpleton and a pigheaded revenge-seeking mercenary hit-man with equal ease and grace.Anton Yelchin as his younger brother is sincere. The fear and concern for his brother is palpable on screen.Of the rest of the cast, Sean Patrick Flanery as Jackey's music teacher, with his amputated legs is a bit dramatic and unconvincing. Maria Valverde as Vittoria, the only woman in the male bastion to have some credible screen moments, is functional.There are some subtle emotional moments between Buddy and her which are touching. Vincent D'Onofirio as the sweet talking, pyrophobic villain is not at all menacing.With not enough weightage given to the sub-plots, the overall piling of the plot seems superficial and shallow, especially the passage when Jackey goes to interview Mario Garza, the rival gangster. Also, the metaphor used in that scene is trite and oft seen in gangster films.Though this is an original story by Vinod Vidhu Chopra, Broken Horses finds its genesis in numerous older films, which includes Chopra's earlier film Parinda. But what makes it stand apart is its treatment.The intelligently written screenplay and dialogues, especially the summation of the title of the film, by Chopra and Abhijat Joshi, more than make up for the deficit in the design scheme.Tom Stern's camera work is excellent. He has a flare for wide angled panoramic shots. Some of the shots of the Wild West and Jackey's Ranch, captured in the twilight zone are worth noticing. So is the underwater shot during the climax.Well mounted with good production and technical values, the film has an inexplicable gentleness to the narration, very characteristic of Vidhu Vinod Chopra. It will appeal to the emotionally inclined.
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)Rating: 2.8/5 starsTo the Hindi film audience in India, "Broken Horses" comes across as nothing more than a 2015 reworking of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's seminal 1989 crime saga, "Parinda". The similarities between the two films are so prevalent and irrefutable - motifs, characters, the plot, even scenes - that to a person who has watched "Parinda", "Broken Horses" feels like that film with a different cast, and therein lies the biggest glitch with the veteran filmmaker's Hollywood debut. Chopra's "Parinda" has basically returned 25 years later on-screen as Chopra's "Broken Horses", with Mexico's dust bowls replacing Mumbai's mean streets, a ranch on a lake replacing a crucial boat, two brothers joined by love and circumstances now also tied by a slight mental disability, and a lot less blood and a lot more conscious style. As for a person who hasn't watched "Parinda" - and most of Chopra's Hollywood audience would fall in that category - this film feels rocky, with certain parts of the story not quite adding up. What could have been acceptable in a 1989 Mumbai, is not quite so on the 2015 Mexico border.So while Chopra's "Parinda" was a pathbreaker in 1989, giving the first gritty portrayal of the underworld in Bollywood, his first Hollywood venture won't make any waves on those well-trodden shores. Particularly as "Parinda" itself drew comparisons with a classic crime film that preceded it by three decades - Elia Kazan's Marlon Brando starrer, "On the Waterfront".The ensemble cast does a commendable job, with D'Onofrio, Marquette, Yelchin, and Valverde all coming across as believable. Nana Patekar's pyrophobic Anna Seth of "Parinda" sees a parallel in D'Onofrio's Hench, who has an irrational nervous breakdown on seeing a burning candle in a church. Marquette is convincing in his role as Buddy, a man who is somewhat slow, but impeccable with the gun and his fists, and is easily brainwashed. Yelchin is passable as the violinist who needs to dirty his hands to save his brother. Valverde's Vittoria evokes copious pathos and admiration for the composure and resolve she displays under trying circumstances, regardless of the minimal screen time she gets.On the technical front, Tom Stern's cinematography is par excellence, and is among the stronger points of the film - shots of the Mexican countryside are beautifully captured. A scene that particularly stands out is the one where the extraction of orange juice is interspersed with goons being killed. On the editing front it seems that Todd E. Miller's scissors were a bit too sharp and snappy, which could probably be the biggest reason that "Broken Horses" doesn't retain even a semblance of "Parinda's" excellence. The producers needed to understand or Chopra himself should have convinced the producers that a story of this magnitude needed the runtime of a Bollywood film, if it had any chance of creating an encore of the multi-layered depths and rich character arcs of its source material. The soundtrack does justice to the film, but doesn't stay with you once the curtains come down.In all, "Broken Horses" is nothing but "Parinda" with western actors and without the same impact. While "Parinda" was a brilliant gangster movie and way ahead of its time, this one doesn't impress as much. That isn't saying "Broken Horses" is a bad film; it's more than a decent crime story, and can even be enjoyed to a moderate extent. But the fact that it's an adaptation of what could easily be considered among Indian cinema's 10 finest films ever, and the very same Director - an ace filmmaker no less - who helmed that film comes up short in this adaptation; stirs a level of infuriation and frustration within you, especially for those who loved "Parinda". Watch it if you're keen on seeing what the first Hollywood film written, directed, and produced by an Indian filmmaker is like. Else, just treat yourself by re- watching "Parinda" all over again.
Stay away from this movie - it is slam dunk boring - from start to finish!! This is a joke out of "PARINDA" movie which was made in India over 25 years ago and obviously Vidoo Vinod Chopra has turned senile in those years that he cannot even think straight anymore.OMG! Is that how a movie should start? ZZzzzz!!! They should watch "CHILDS PLAY" movie to learn how a movie should start!!There are only about half a dozen men and a woman throughout this movie and the camera focuses mainly on 3 people.The whole entire movie is DARK, DARK, BORING, BORING and in some shots you see NOTHING but just a completely DARK screen - all of the movie was shot in the evenings and nights for no reason and even when they show a couple of shots in broad day light for just a few seconds, there is NO light or Sun on actors faces!! Do they call this an art movie cinematography? Maybe the director turned sensitive to Sun light? This is so dumb and annoying. How about learning some techniques before making a movie? Watch Disney, Pixar movies or RANGO or HAPPY ENDING (Saif Ali Khan filmed in the USA with stunning cinematography) - they are all bright, bright.The entire movie is shot in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in some unknown hills and mountains - no people, no nothing but just these 6 people who still wear suits, ties, boots, cow boy hats, guns, etc - they could even wander NAKED in those hills and NO one would notice them (LOL) - even Wyoming has more people than these locations.They build a ranch with a white stallion horse in the middle of mountains and nowhere which is also shown only in the evenings and nights for no reason - no one wants to live there even if it is given for FREE!!No offense intended but the 4 main characters in this movie are NO MATCH for Nana Patekar, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in the original PARINDA. These actors in Broken Horses are unknown faces and hence the movie seems like a very low budget one. This movie is not a fit even as a 30-minute TV clip. Even low budget TV serials such as Law and Order have more actors, locations, light and better picturization. Each and every scene in this movie is a joke out of PARINDA.If there was a 0, I would give it 0 stars. If there was -10 stars, I would give it -10 stars. That says it all.Jut save your money!