Bros: After the Screaming Stops
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.