Broken Horses Movie ReviewStory: Buddy (Marquette) and Jacob (Yelchin) are brothers who lose their sheriff father at an early age. Buddy, despite being the town simpleton, takes charge of his brother, who is a budding violinist. Buddy drops out of school and becomes the breadwinner. Many years later, Jacob, about to wed his fiancee Vittoria (Valverde), returns to his hometown to meet Buddy and stumbles upon a host of unpleasant truths.
Review: Buddy is doggedly protective of his younger brother. It's almost like this protectiveness is hardwired into Buddy's simple mind as his core mission in life. Even as a child, he gives a share of his first paycheque (a few measly dollars) to his brother to purchase a violin. Later, Buddy would earn some serious money when he is trained (or rather, cleverly manipulated) by local crime boss Julius Hench (D'Onofrio) to become his hitman.
Years later, Buddy is overjoyed that Jacob (now a hipster in New York) is getting married and makes good on his childhood promise to gift his brother a ranch and a white horse with a tanned, red leather saddle. 'Jakey' doesn't know where Buddy got the money for all of it and is aghast when in time, he figures out the source of these gains and what's really going on. Soon, it is time for Jacob to step in and look out for his brother's safety.
Tom Stern's innovative use of light and shadow for the daytime, interior and night-time scenes add weight to the film, conveying the appropriate moods effectively. The evening shadows only highlight the sense of intrigue and dark secrets that abound in this town. Sure, there are a few moments of unnecessarily heightened melodrama and if anything, we would have liked to have seen more consistency when it comes to the grittiness and dark edges. In terms of performances though, D'Onofrio and Marquette pull in the punches.
All said and done, the overriding message of is, of course, one of brotherly love and the fact that although circumstances might change, some bonds remain unbroken.