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:: Two Brothers

Award-winning director Jean-Jacques Annaud has surpassed himself with this simple story of brotherly love. Beautifully filmed, Two Brothers captures stunning footage of tigers at play and fuses outstanding visual elements with personality and warm emotion. This lovely film will appeal to children of all ages and anyone who delights in animals and adventure.

The jungles of Cambodia encroach upon the ancient temples, enswathing the stone idols with creeping vine. These are secret places where only tigers go. This is the kingdom of the Great Tiger, his Tigress and their cubs, the two brothers’ Kumal and Sangha.

Lured by fame, fortune and adventure, a big game hunter called Aiden McRory (Guy Pearce) sets out for Cambodia to plunder the hidden temples. The human intruders bring noise, fire and hunting dogs to the tigers’ realm and a clash with the inhabitants is inevitable.

Taken from their parents and into captivity, Kumal finds himself performing in a cruel circus where he is whipped and cowed, while Sangha is donated to the Prince’s private menagerie and taunted to make him bloodthirsty. When at last they meet again, it is as enemies in the fighting arena and only the ties of brotherhood can save their lives.

The tigers are the stars of this film and great credit must go to their trainers. Rather than performing tired circus tricks, the tigers were encouraged to respond naturally to various situations to reveal their personalities and great dignity. Off camera, Guy Pearce apparently relished time spent with the cubs; helping to feed them and letting them follow him around. His evident fondness for the cub Kumal, and the interaction between them in the film, drives the bond between the human and tiger characters in the story.

Kumal and Sangha don’t speak in the dulcet American tones that dominate many animal movies. These tigers share their story through their movement, expressions and the magnificent atmosphere created by director Jean-Jacques Annaud. He has created a beautiful world of fable that resonates with the sad truth about the plight of tigers.