An Honest Review Of 'Brother Of The Year'

You'll laugh and cry your way through this atypical family drama.

It's just a good, solid story that grips you as you wait for what happens next.

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Ever since they were kids, siblings Chut (Sunny Suwanmethanont) and Jane (Urassaya Sperbund) were as different as night and day. Jane, the younger sibling, is an overachiever and gets the chance to study in Japan. Chut coasts along, mainly because of his mad party skills which he uses to get clients for his ad agency accounts. Then, when Jane comes home after her overseas studies, she finds the house that they share in disarray. They constantly clash over Chut's irresponsibility and bachelor lifestyle as she is always left to pick up after his mess. Chut plots for revenge on his goody-two-shoes sister when she falls in love with one of his clients, Moji (Nichkhun Horvejkul), who also happens to be her co-worker.

The Short, Honest Plot

It's a movie about the complicated dynamics between siblings, where growing up can either bring you closer or drive you apart.

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The Main Characters And Where You Last Saw Them

Sunny Suwanmethanont as Chut

Sunny is a Thai actor of Thai, Singaporean, and French descent, who starred in the romantic comedy I Fine..Thank You..Love You, for which he won the Saraswati Royal Award for Best Leading Actor.

Urassaya Sperbund as Jane

The Thai-Norwegian actress is also known by her Pinoy fanbase as Yaya. She gained popularity as the plucky Jeed in Duang Jai Akkanee. She also has a huge career as a model and endorser and was recently featured in Vogue US.

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Nichkhun Horvejkul as Moji

Nichkhun is a Thai-American rapper, singer, songwriter, model, and actor. He is currently based in South Korea as a member of the K-pop boy band 2PM. He was recently in the Philippines for the Korean show One Night Food Trip where he ate his way from Pampanga to Cebu with former U-Kiss member Xander Lee.

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Did You Know?

  1. The film grossed approximately $7.8 million (P420 million) and is touted as the highest-grossing Thai movie that has been released across Asia.
  2. It is produced by GDH, the same studio that came out with Bad Genius, which earned $41 million (P2.21 billion) in China alone.
  3. K-pop star Nichkhun had to relearn Thai for his role because he had been living overseas for so long. He admitted his grasp of the language had become "rusty."

What I Think:

If you've been seeking out commercials from Thailand for their outlandish sense of humor and the heart-wrenching stories, you will definitely appreciate Brother of the Year. Director Vithaya Thongyuyong took a simple story about family ties and brought it to life with scenes that will cause a roller coaster of emotions.

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The traditional Asian approach to family values is on full display here. Jane's overdeveloped sense of responsibility towards her older brother may be lost to  Westerners, but in the Philippines, it will hit home.

I cannot help but remark on how restrained the storytelling is. While Filipino films would have a ton of sampalan scenes or a string of one-liners delivered between characters when they argue, the plot moves along without the use of these devices—there is only one slap delivered in the movie and it will elicit laughter. The characters talk and act like how we would in real life. There are no overdramatic tendencies that need a swelling crescendo in background music. It is just a good, solid story that grips you as you wait for what happens next.

The cast is effective as their characters and you will love all of them. Even Thai industry newbie Chanchalerm Manasaporn as Dear, the intern, holds her own with her pivotal scenes. With regard to the eye-candy, it will be a toss-up between Chut and Muji, depending on whether you like the bad boy or the boy next door. Here's one spoiler we cannot keep under wraps: Be ready for a gratuitous shirtless shot somewhere in the film!

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All in all, it was a heart-warming, well-crafted movie. The only thing we would find fault is that there are a few scenes that seemed to drag. But then again, it might be owing to the fact that we have been accustomed to local cinema's pacing with its constant motion and action. Director Vithaya takes his time in setting up a scene instead of jumping from one cut to the next, and in the end, it was all worth it because you get to understand where each character is coming from. Bring a hanky, by the way, the onion-cutting ninjas might just be somewhere hiding in the theatre.       

What My Friend Thinks:

"There are dragging scenes, but it was very satisfying to watch. I love how they made us laugh and cry and relate to their struggles. Hindi siya typical family drama story that is presented in a corny way. Also, Sunny is so crush-worthy!" —Nik 

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I'd Recommend It To:

Anyone who ever fought with their brothers or sisters when they were growing up. You will feel the strong urge to call them afterward, I swear.

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