Brother of the Year film review: Sunny Suwanmethanont, Urassaya Sperbund play siblings at odds in hit Thai comedy
This Thai tale of a wild bachelor and his rivalry with his sister starts out as a romcom, then moves on to concentrate on the intense emotions and the love-hate relationship between the siblings
After producing the regional mega hit Bad Genius last year, Thai production studio GDH is following up that high-school caper with yet another unconventional crowd-pleaser. Brother of the Year, which has already proved a huge commercial hit in Thailand, is that rare blockbuster that doesn’t hesitate to sideline its romcom materials to centre on an extreme – though admittedly not that unusual – case of sibling rivalry.
Sunny Suwanmethanon ( Heart Attack ) plays the hopelessly juvenile Chut, an advertising executive who has been enjoying his wild bachelor life – that is, until his straight-A younger sister Jane (television actress Urassaya Sperbund in her film debut) returns from her four years of university studies in Japan and moves back into the Bangkok flat they’d been sharing after they moved out of their family home.
Feeling like a failure next to his “perfect” sister, Chut has long channelled his inferiority complex into scaring away Jane’s admirers. But when she joins a Japanese firm and starts dating colleague Moji (Nichkhun Buck Horvejkul from K-pop band 2PM), who happens to be the very client Chut is trying to please, the siblings become so hostile toward each other that they put their careers – and family ties – at risk.
Apart from their conflicting personalities, the contrast between Chut and Jane’s love lives proves an equally engrossing watch. While Jane and Moji make a genuinely sweet couple, Chut is forced to reconsider his immaturity by Dear (Manasaporn Chanchalerm), a new intern at his company who turns out to be more a source of wisdom than just another potential love interest to bring home for one night.
For all its silly gags and melodramatic plotting, Brother of the Year does surprise with a poignant second half that stretches the brother-sister bond to breaking point. Although the film, directed by Witthaya Thongyooyong (My Girl), has been marketed primarily as a comedy, it is the intense emotions involved in the love-hate relationship that will stay with the viewers long after their laughs die down.
Brother of the Year opens on June 21
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