Brothers Of The Head (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/10/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Fresh from its award-winning debut at the Edinburgh Film Festival, this is an engaging, stylishly directed and ultimately moving drama with superb performances.

What's it all about?
Based on the novel by Brian Aldiss, Brothers of the Head tells the story of conjoined twins Tom and Barry Howe (played by newcomers Harry and Luke Treadaway), in mock-documentary fashion. In the mid 1970s, the twins are discovered by an impresario (Howard Attfield) who thinks they'd make great pop stars.

The boys are subsequently put up in a remote location where a musician (Bryan Dick) teaches them to sing and they put together a series of angry punk songs. However, things start to fall apart when sensitive twin Tom falls for a sexy rock journalist (Tania Emery) and Barry becomes jealous.

The Good
The film is set up as a modern day expose using rehearsal footage from the house, shot by a documentarian (Tom Bower), interviews with the surviving players and, bizarrely, scenes from an abandoned Ken Russell film. Directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (who made Lost in La Mancha) blend the different styles together brilliantly, to create a compelling story.

Harry and Luke Treadaway give astonishing performances (or rather an astonishing performance), creating a believable physicality for their characters, as well as distinct personalities. Luke, in particular, is terrific as the angry, bullying Barry and there's also strong support from Bryan Dick, Tania Emery and Sean Harris as their abusive manager.

The Great
The songs are excellent, lending the film a real sense of anger and energy. In fact, the songs are so good, you'll wish they were a real band.

In addition, there's gorgeous 1970s-style photography, courtesy of Anthony Dod Mantle, and a script that's full of dark humour and includes several funny lines such as, An article about people with disabilities? Speak to the drummer – he's got a dodgy ankle.

Worth seeing?
A hugely enjoyable, frequently bizarre and ultimately rewarding film. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 20/07/2018 08:03

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