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2023, Drama, 2h 24m
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An arrogant man receives a second chance to fix his mistakes after death.
Original Language: Telugu
Producer: T.G. Vishwa Prasad
Writer: Trivikram Srinivas
Release Date (Theaters): Jul 28, 2023 limited
Runtime: 2h 24m
Distributor: People Media Factory
Production Co: People Media Factory, Zee Studios
Cast & Crew
Sai Dharam Tej
Priya Prakash Varrier
T.G. Vishwa Prasad
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Bro Movie Review: A fantasy drama on time that makes two hours feel like forever
Posted: 29 July 2023 | Last updated: 8 January 2024
Ten minutes into the film, Markandeya alias Mark (Sai Dharam Tej) dies in a car accident that he is seemingly responsible for. A shot of a white car tumbling across a highway cuts to darkness. We slowly see Mark emerge, unharmed, crying out for help. We then see the silhouette of a man, the superstar himself. Mark yells, “Who are you? Where am I? Show me your face.” No response. Then we get the cue. “ Power ledha .” The lights shine on cue, revealing the power star himself, dressed in his famous Vayyari Bhama garb, dancing to the song. Then we see something downright farcical. The man is dancing, well, swaying lightly, as we see him morph into double, triple and multiple identical translucent figures, moving along to the acoustic hook from Vayyari… All the build-up and tease, followed by that one meta line acting as an OTP for the hero to emerge. Phata poster, nikla hero. Phir kya? It is all downhill from here, my friends, as the rest of Bro goes on to replicate the heartbreaking mediocrity the Ameerpet edit of VFX Pawan Kalyans displayed.
Director - Samuthirakani
Cast - Pawan Kalyan, Sai Dharam Tej, Ketika Sharma, Priya Prakash Warrier, Rohini Molleti
For the most part, Bro is Mark’s story. He gets the Arjun Reddy style unlikeable-but-successful character arc. He finishes an entire workout but leaves his breakfast halfway. He will pay for his sisters’ education but never pays attention to them. He is also extremely fastidious with his time. He fires people on whim but only because they have dared to waste his time. His girlfriend Ramya (Ketika Sharma) as an appointment to be squeezed in between work and more work. Mark’s loved ones are the opportunity cost he voluntarily incurs for a coveted promotion in his company. Bro , in that way, is quite the apt title here, considering the whole “time is money, money is success” mantra that drives Mark is also the beloved gospel of our podcast “bros.”
Samuthirakani and his writer-collaborator Trivikram are more inclined to present Mark in a grudgingly positive light, but more on that later. Pawan Kalyan is time, here. If Anne Hathaway suggested that time can be a physical dimension people can climb up and down like a hill in Interstellar — Samuthirakani wants us to know that time can also be reimagined as this demigod superstar we have all grown up loving.
But who really is this personification of time? This is where the movie entropies rapidly. Trivikram steps in to deliver some philosophical one-liners, which quickly turn into unsubtle digs against a certain Chief Minister. We also have Thaman’s rousing Sanskritised background score trying its best to defibrillate this otherwise comatose film. When we combine Thaman’s contributions with the fact that Bro is alternatively titled Bro The Avatar — we might just be talking about Kaala Bhairava, a Shaivite manifestation of time, reality and retribution. But this is a wasted conclusion since we see Pawan Kalyan’s character borrow his character traits from his own filmo-mytho-graphy. In OMG (Pawan Kalyan features in this film's Telugu remake) , Akshay Kumar, who plays the role of Sri Krishna apes the character traits of the latter. So we see this actor play the flute, carry a peacock feather keychain and inhale blocks of butter from Paresh Rawal’s fridge. But here, Pawan Kalyan’s Time mowa bro is a highlights reel of the actor in his prime. He prefers chai from a cutting glass (like his character from Thammudu ), sings Aadavari Matalaku Ardhale Verule in a car and dances to Jalsa Jalsa in a pub. Costume designer Neeta Lulla chimes into the film’s overall meta-ness, her costumes are an ode to the actor’s clutter-breaking, forever cool fits from the 2000s.
At this point, a senior star paying meta lip service to his older, more iconic roles is not new. Lokesh Kanagaraj did it with Kamal Haasan in Vikram . Closer home, Bobby Kolli pulled it off with clapbacks to vintage Chiranjeevi in Waltair Veerayya. But the trick misfires with Bro , especially considering Kushi , Jalsa and Tholi Prema had some wide and successful re-releases at a time as recent as last year. Speaking of which, how did a song from a film as recent as Bheemla Nayak feature in this mix? I get that time is relative and stories are subjective, but the only way one year back would count as vintage is if human beings had a lifespan of three years. The shtick feels a lot more tired when you realise that Pawan Kalyan is running his own experiments with time — using his past to propel his future — cinema be damned.
The rest of the film does little to help its own case. Bro is a remake of a Tamil feature that was once originally a play, but that never meant actors should stay in a single place, swapping the stage for endless green screen. Sai Dharam Tej is equally immobile in his acting, as he pantomimes in tandem with Pawan Kalyan’s sluggish, and disinterested demeanour.
Surprisingly, Mark’s family left a greater impression on me than Tej and Pawan Kalyan. There is a sister who knows she is unfairly resented, but still respects her brother. The other sister and brother hide their own relationships, despite Mark being open with his. The film’s only redeeming grace is the way it treats patriarchy. Now when I say patriarchy, I don’t mean it in the way that word has earned its demonic status today. I mean it quite literally. Mark is the oldest child of his family, its sole breadwinner and patriarch after their father’s demise. When he rises to lecture the women in his household, the girls see their father. The mother sees her own father. Mark is riddled with anxiety, about getting his siblings “settled”. Turns out, his family needs no help from him. In one of the film’s only aha! moments, we see the “nobody needing Mark” angle take a deterministic turn. And when Mark realises that it is he who needs his family more than the other way round, he begins to redeem. The film though, only so much.
This is an interesting time for Pawan Kalyan fans, to watch him transition from a place that made him the power star to a place that will give him actual power. We have seen him build a meta-narrative beneficial for politics in both Vakeel Saab and Bheemla Nayak. But Bro is a slippery beast. Star power means showing greatness, something mortals cannot achieve. But we have Pawan Kalyan in a film that has come down to our level, instead of us wishing to reach theirs, with all the Jaya Surya and Mavayya meme clapbacks. It is not easy at all to watch this torchbearer feature in a rather torturous film. It feels much more insulting when the star is content with scheduling this piecemeal effort film between politics the way Mark scheduled his time between work for Ramya. We have had 25 glorious years with Pawan Kalyan. Maybe, our time is over.
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- Cast & crew
- User reviews
An arrogant man is given a second chance to fix his mistakes after death. An arrogant man is given a second chance to fix his mistakes after death. An arrogant man is given a second chance to fix his mistakes after death.
- Trivikram Srinivas
- Pawan Kalyan
- Urvashi Rautela
- Sai Dharam Tej
- 33 User reviews
- 6 Critic reviews
- Sithra Manjari
- Brother Shanker
- Janaki - Mark's Mother
- Mark's Boss
- Uncle Singinatham
- Gayathri - Mark's Sister
- Veena - Mark's Sister
- Ramya's Brother
- Vicky - Venna's Boyfriend
- Venugopal …
- Veena's Mother-in-law
- Shyam - Drunk Guy
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
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User reviews 33
- Jul 30, 2023
- How long is Bro? Powered by Alexa
- July 28, 2023 (India)
- People Media Factory
- Zee Studios
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- Runtime 2 hours 14 minutes
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National Media's Thumbs Down To 'Bro' In Reviews
The movie "Bro," starring Pawan Kalyan and Sai Tej, has hit theaters, and reviews have already arrived.
Let's take a look at the national media's response to this film and how leading media organizations reacted to it.
Unfortunately, the national media did not express a positive view of the film "Bro." To put it bluntly, they didn't like it at all.
Popular daily 'The Hindu' opined that Pawan Kalyan and Sai Dharam Tej couldn't save this boring movie. The review concluded that relying on the songs and dialogues from Pawan's hit films resulted in a lack of freshness, causing the film to misfire.
Indian Express , another well-known magazine, analyzed that this movie seems to cater only to Pawan Kalyan's fans. Each scene in the film was utilized as an opportunity to bolster Pawan's image, giving the impression that Pawan used this movie to enhance his political presence.
In its review, Times of India , another leading media company, wrote that films like "Bro" happen when they are based on Kalyan's craze rather than a strong storyline. It pointed out that the portrayal of a man who got a second chance to live, along with his family's life, felt rushed, and the intended message was delivered too late. Overall, the review highlighted that "Bro" missed the opportunity to tell a compelling story effectively.
Regarding the film's dialogues, "First Post" criticized that there is no consistency in them. They noted that some dialogues revolve around themes of equality, while others seemed to be written solely for the sake of rhyme, without logical coherence. The review concluded that apart from a few laughs, there isn't much else in the movie. A doctor in the movie saying that only rich people get Parkinson's Disease is also criticized.
On the other hand, India Today responded that "Bro," starring Sai dharam Tej, was made primarily to cater to Pawan Kalyan's fans. The review suggested that a more honest remake without excessive additions would have been better. It also criticized the special song, which was filled with old movie references, lowering the impact of the film.
Overall, more than 80 percent of the reviews in the national media agreed that "Bro" was not a good movie. The critics found the remake lacking honesty and felt that attempts to cash in on personal agendas and stardom were more apparent than delivering a quality cinematic experience.
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Tags: Pawan Kalyan Sai Dharam Tej National Media Bro
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- This film marks the first collaboration of uncle-nephew duo Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. Arjun is the son of Anil’s brother Boney Kapoor.
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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse chancellor fired for appearing in porn videos
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents unanimously fired UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow during a closed-door meeting Wednesday after discovering videos posted on porn websites featuring him and his wife.
Gow, 63, and his wife, Carmen Wilson, are featured on several porn websites using "Sexy Happy Couple" as the account name, a moniker also used on at least two social media accounts.
The couple also published two books detailing their experiences in the adult film industry, under pseudonyms. Both books and the social media accounts feature photos clearly showing Gow and Wilson.
"In recent days, we learned of specific conduct by Dr. Gow that has subjected the university to significant reputational harm," UW System President Jay Rothman said. "His actions were abhorrent."
UW Board of Regents President Karen Walsh said Gow showed "a reckless disregard" for his role as a UW-La Crosse leader.
"We are alarmed, and disgusted, by his actions, which were wholly and undeniably inconsistent with his role as chancellor," she said.
Gow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network, that the creation of books and videos exploring consensual adult sexuality falls within his right to free speech under the First Amendment. He said he previously hid this part of his life but made a recent decision to reverse course and "be a little bit more open about these free speech issues."
"There's nothing said about the University of Wisconsin; there's nothing said about the chancellor (on the videos)," he said after the firing Wednesday. "So someone else would have to make those associations. And then someone would have to say those are problematic."
No university property or funds were used to create the books or videos, Gow said. He created the content on his own personal time and spent more on production costs than the "minimal" money the videos have earned through the websites.
Gow questioned whether the board afforded him due process because he said he wasn't given an opportunity to make his case. He said no one at the UW System nor on the UW Board of Regents contacted him ahead of the Wednesday meeting where the board met behind closed doors for just over three hours.
The statements from UW leaders Wednesday struck a different tone from earlier this year when Gow announced plans to step down at the end of the 2023-24 school year and return to the faculty as a communications professor. He is the longest serving of the current chancellors, leading the 10,000 student campus since 2007.
“This is a hallmark of excellent stewardship," UW System President Jay Rothman said in an August statement. "He has provided a steady hand through challenging times and met the moment when we needed him."
Gow's 2006 contract says little about the termination process. The six pages spell out his separate appointment as a tenured faculty member and explains how his new salary would be determined if he were to resign or be terminated from the chancellorship. The document also notes he would have received six months ' notice of termination had he not been granted tenure.
The contract also includes these key lines: "The Chancellor is encouraged to engage in outside activities that contribute to the Chancellor's professional advancement or benefit the University. The Chancellor may not engage in any activity that may be adverse to, or competitive or inconsistent with the interests of the University of Wisconsin System."
Rothman said he placed Gow on paid administrative leave as he transitions into his faculty role. The UW System president, however, has also filed a complaint with the new interim chancellor, UW-La Crosse Provost Betsy Morgan, asking for Gow's tenured faculty status to be reviewed. Rothman also said he has engaged an outside law firm to conduct a full investigation.
Wilson chaired the search committee that selected Gow to lead UW-La Crosse. She was Gow's chief of staff in the chancellor's office from 2008 to 2011. She then led UW-Rock County from 2011 to 2016.
The two married in 2014 . Now as Gow's spouse, Wilson serves as an "associate to the chancellor" under the terms of his contract. The formal appointment is unpaid and complements the chancellor's public-facing role leading the university.
Gow, Wilson used pseudonyms to avoid 'negative repercussions'
The couple's account on X, formerly Twitter , hinted at their hobby: "The Passionate plant-powered couple cooking, conversing, and shooting with top adult video stars. Visit our LoyalFans and OnlyFans sites for fully explicit scenes!"
Gow and Wilson have six videos on OnlyFans that feature adult film stars, according to descriptions of the videos. They also appear on at least two other porn websites, PornHub and XHamster. Some videos have more than 200,000 views. All videos were posted in the last two months.
They also appear on a YouTube channel called "Sexy Healthy Cooking ." It shows nine videos of the couple cooking various vegan dishes with adult film stars.
The couple appears to have published two books together under the names Geri and Jay Hart. According to the author bio on Amazon, the names are pseudonyms for "a married woman and man who serve in executive positions at two well-known organizations in the U.S.” An author photo shows Gow and Wilson.
The books don't reference La Crosse, Wisconsin, or any work for a university. But they do allude to the couple's status in the community, and how they have grappled with the tension they felt between the expectations of their “establishment” careers and their desires to be more open about their sex lives.
“You see, we couldn’t be more entrenched in the local establishment,” they wrote in “Monogamy with Benefits: How Porn Enriches Our Relationship,” published in 2015. “Not only do we serve as executives at two of the better-known organizations in the city where we live, but we are also highly active in charitable and civic activities. We hold seats on non-profit boards, and we’re fixtures at a very traditional ‘downtown’ public service club. All this has made us rather visible public figures in our city. We’re sometimes quoted in the newspapers, and people approach us from time to time to say they’ve seen us on last night’s television news. In fact, you can even go on the web and find photographs of us smiling alongside ultra-reputable current and former national and state political leaders.”
The couple noted they were “fairly certain a scandal would ensue if our peers were to know about what we’ve been doing.”
“We think our sex is beautiful and have no qualms at all about other people watching us make love. But our establishment colleagues likely would be shocked to watch us complete the full carnal process – particularly with professional porn stars – and we’re fairly certain we’d be shunned in our community. Our careers likely would be ruined, and what’s worse is that the lives of our families and friends also could be impacted significantly, and not in a positive way. So, as much as we’d like to be as honest with everyone else as we’ve been with ourselves about our sexuality, we feel compelled to keep our unconventional lifestyle hidden.”
That book ends with the couple’s first experience being in a “professionally produced sex video” just before they got married. Their 2018 book, “Married with Benefits: Our Real-life Adult Industry Adventures,” describes additional experiences creating pornographic videos and collaborating with other adult performers.
Gow was previously punished for inviting adult film star to speak on campus
This isn't Gow's first brush with controversy.
He was in hot water five years ago after he invited adult film star Nina Hartley to speak on campus as part of a "Free Speech week" event. Hartley's optional lecture, “Fantasy versus reality: Viewing adult media with a critical eye” drew a reported 75 attendees on campus.
Then-UW System president Ray Cross reprimanded Go w for exercising “poor judgment " and denied him a pay raise. Gow personally reimbursed the $5,000 speaker’s fee amid the public outcry. The fee initially came out of his office’s discretionary fund, which was supported by interest earnings and vending machine revenue.
But Gow stood by his decision, emailing Hartley a week later to say it was "without a doubt the most original and thought-provoking presentation I’ve seen in my 12 years at our university."
Gow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this year the lecture was a stimulating discussion about an uncomfortable topic and illustrated why free speech is a good thing for universities. He has been fairly open to media interviews throughout his UW career, which has sometimes drawn the ire of UW System officials trying to send a single, consistent message .
In an interview after announcing his intention to retire as chancellor, Gow mentioned his desire to spend more time cooking with his wife and return to the classroom.