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Review: Broken Horses is a pale version of Parinda

A scene from Broken HorsesFor those who haven't watched Parinda, Broken Horses could perhaps be a moving, serious watch. But for those who have already been blown away by Chopra's original, Broken Horses pales in comparison, says Paloma Sharma.

I've put off writing this for three straight days now. It wasn't heat-induced lethargy or a family emergency.

You see, I have a low tolerance for pain and I usually do whatever it takes to avoid it. 

So it was only logical that I did not think of the 108 minute long headache I had endured on Monday evening. Incidentally, this headache will release in theatres on April 10 and goes by the name of Broken Horses

One could say that Broken Horses is Parinda with white people in it, set 'somewhere near the Mexican border.' But then again, that would do no good, for it is always good to vent after a traumatic incident. 

Broken Horses follows two brothers -- Jacob 'Jackey' Heckum (Anton Yelchin), a violin prodigy and his older, slower sibling, Buddy (Chris Marquette) -- whose lives take different courses only to intertwine again at a dangerous point. 

The film opens with the stylishly shot murder of their father (Thomas Jane), the town sheriff, which Buddy witnesses. 

Buddy's naivë mind is manipulated by the local mob boss Julius Hench (Vincent D'Onofrio), who wishes to use Buddy's prowess as a marksman for his own ends.

As Buddy gets pulled deeper into Hench's murky world, he makes sure that Jakey gets out of their small, dead-end town. 

Years later, Buddy calls Jakey back to their hometown to give his brother a wedding present. 

Jakey comes home to find that things are worse than what they were when he had left to pursue his music career, and that Buddy is too blind to see what Hench is turning him into. 

Acting on a promise he made to their father years ago, Jakey stays back in a bid to save his brother, even if it costs him his own life. 

Broken Horses' greatest flaw is its timing. Despite having strong actors associated with the project, the film drags along frame by frame without taking the story forward. 

Polished cinematography makes Broken Horses easy on the eyes, though it is marred by inconsistent, undecided stylization. There are moments when the film builds up an emotional scene that is pivotal to the script but fails to take things all the way due to a few missed cuts here and there. 

Melodrama reaches new highs for a film that aims to be subtle and powerful in its metaphors but ends up being riddled with clichés in quite the same way as the bodies in the film are riddled with bullets. 

Marquette's performance is what pulls this broken horse along to the finish line, moving one to almost tears in a scene between him and D'Onofrio. 

D'Onofrio, for all his talent, cannot compete with Nana Patekar's inimitable Anna Seth. 

For those who haven't watched Parinda, Broken Horses could perhaps be a moving, serious watch. But for those who have already been blown away by Chopra's original, Broken Horses pales in comparison. 

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