A late-night hit-and-run, the death of an ailing old man and an act of ill-advised concealment send the lives of two temperamentally dissimilar brothers into a tailspin. The duo, the protagonists of Bloody Brothers, struggle to keep their wits about them as they try to hide their deed from the accident victim’s sneaky neighbours and relatives, none of whom, as it turns out, is above board.
A six-part Zee5 series directed by Shaad Ali, Bloody Brothers is a thriller that shuns the usual trappings of the genre. No blowouts, no gunfights, no chases, no heavy-handed confrontations – it thrives on sustained restraint. Its pace isn’t manic. Director of photography Vikash Nowlakha frames the slow crackle in an unflashy manner that does not take the focus away from the people on the screen while creating the requisite visual ambience. The images breathe and create room for continual intrigue.
Violence is conspicuous by its absence in Bloody Brothers. That apart, the series uses expletives only sparingly. One character, in what is clearly a tangential broadside at the usual abundance of swear words in thriller shows, utters the world’s most popular four-letter word by verbalising the first alphabet and completing it with three ‘beeps’, even adding ‘ing’ at the end in one instance.
Visceral thrills aren’t what Bloody Brothers is chasing. An adaptation of a Scottish television series, it is a gently simmering drama about relationships, survival instincts and morality (actually, the lack of it) rather than a tensile tale of pulsating action and violent, unsettling set pieces involving men at loggerheads.
The narrative – the two brothers are on edge all through not only with people around them but also with each other even as the elder one feigns nonchalance – is darkly humorous and, therefore, all the more effective.