Film review: ‘Hermano’
Wed, Aug 22, 2012 (4:20 p.m.)
A pair of adoptive brothers are both drawn together and torn apart by soccer and gang life in the rather tedious Venezuelan drama Hermano. Burly, hotheaded Julio (Eliu Armas) and scrawny, shy Daniel (Fernando Moreno), who was found abandoned as a baby and taken in by Julio’s mother, grew up together in a Caracas barrio and both became stars of the local soccer team. When a scout from the city’s professional club taps the brothers for recruitment, Daniel is eager to better his life, while Julio can’t move beyond his connections to the local gang. The overwrought story unfolds awkwardly, with one ridiculously contrived act of violence in the middle, and it piles on both sports-drama and up-from-poverty clichés. Julio and Daniel’s story doesn’t start out as the typical underdog-sports narrative, but by the end, director and co-writer Marcel Rasquin has managed to turn it into one, squandering his unique setting on a bland, sentimental melodrama.