Bros: Af­ter the Scream­ing Stops

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews Film Games - PB

Dirs Joe Pearl­man, David Soutar Length 95 mins Cert 15

My scream­ing was pretty much con­tin­u­ous through­out this bizarre and ut­terly grip­ping promo-doc about the stress­ful re­union of 1980s boy­band Bros: Matt and Luke Goss, back to­gether in 2017 for one night only at Lon­don’s O2 Arena for their 30th an­niver­sary.

Now they are in their 50s, with a slight re­sem­blance to Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, who might want to play them in the fea­ture-film ver­sion. If you can imag­ine a Trav­el­ing Wil­burys-type combo of Alan Partridge on drums, Nigel Tufnel on gui­tar and David Brent on vo­cals, you’ll have some idea of the at­mos­phere of tragi­comic im­por­tance sum­moned up by the Bros re­union and the ex­traor­di­nar­ily solemn thoughts be­ing shared by the broth­ers in the run-up to the big show. We aren’t privy to the dis­cus­sions that led up to this re­union. Per­haps we needed a Mrs Mer­ton-style in­ter­view to dis­cover what first at­tracted them to the idea. And the film skates over the ex­is­tence of Craig Lo­gan, the bassist and third Bros mem­ber, who quit to go into man­age­ment.

We be­gin with some star­tling scenes from the broth­ers’ cur­rent ex­is­tence in the US, as they sep­a­rately muse on their lives. Matt is a solo player in Ve­gas, and he shows us around his sump­tu­ous home. Luke is earn­ing a crust in LA, act­ing in straight-to-video thrillers. When the boys ar­rive back in Blighty to com­mence re­hears­ing, their in­tense dis­like of each other resurfaces. Luke, the drum­mer, re­sents be­ing told how to do his job by his brother, the preen­ing lead vo­cal­ist.

The day of the gig dawns and tem­pers are lost. (“Rome wasn’t built in a day. And we don’t have the time that Rome had.”) The con­cert it­self goes off rea­son­ably, although it is clear that the broth­ers do not have the re­sources for a Take That-style rein­ven­tion. Matt and Luke de­serve some­thing for speak­ing so can­didly about the loss of their mother and sis­ter, and for al­low­ing their hideous rows to be cap­tured on cam­era.

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