Hermano (DVD Review)25 Nov, 2012 By: Angelique Flores
Box Office $0.03 million
In Spanish with English subtitles.
Stars Eliu Armas, Fernando Moreno.
This Venezuelan drama makes Biutiful seem like a happy movie.
The gut-wrenching Hermano tells the story of Julio (Eliu Armas) and Daniel (Fernando Moreno), two young men with dreams of playing soccer.
However, Rudo y Cursi this is not.
The two were raised as brothers by a single mom, who took Daniel in as a baby after Julio found in him among discarded trash.
Their bond is like blood brothers, but the two couldn’t be more different. Julio is a confident, brawny young man involved with the neighborhood crime lords, while Daniel is a timid, scrawny teenage good boy. They both play soccer for their local team and together make an unstoppable duo on the field. But the younger Daniel’s talent as well as his drive surpasses Julio’s.
Their chance to get out of the life comes when a scout from the Caracas Football Club — football, meaning soccer — comes to watch them play and invites them to try out for the team. But a wrench gets thrown in their opportunity when their mom gets caught in the crossfire of a violent shooting and dies. The killing tears the brothers apart, as Julio wants revenge and Daniel wants to distance his brother from the violence that surrounds him.
Hermano takes you right into the desolate slums of Venezuela on a tight, gritty script with violence and poverty reminiscent of City of God. And its two stars, Armas and Moreno, have the chemistry and raw talent that sucker punch you with emotion as they pull you into their characters’ grief, agony and rage. It’s hard to believe these two, as well as first-time feature film director Marcel Rasquine, are newcomers.