Coming from director Luke Greenfield and Focus Features is the unlikely pairing of siblings when one discovers his HALF BROTHERS.
Renato is a young boy living in Mexico with Father Flavio (Juan Pablo Espinosa) and they share the love of flying together. Going to the United States to look for work, Renato has a difficult time being separated from him. Time goes by and there are phone calls and such but no Flavio.
Now grown, Renato (Luis Gerardo Mendez) is an aviation executive still living in Mexico and preparing for his wedding. Unexpectedly, he learns that his father is seriously ill from Flavio’s American wife Katherine (Ashley Poole) but wanting nothing to do with the man that crushed his heart so many years ago.
Getting a push from his fiancé, Renato reluctantly decides to go only days before the wedding making it clear it is a fly in and fly out situation. Arriving, he gets off the plane more irritated than ever and it is made worse by a rude customer at a coffee stop. Getting to the hospital he is met by Katherine before walking in to see Flavio who is immediately moved to see his son.
Renato shows no emotion and walking into the room is the rude coffee customer who turns out to be his half-brother Asher (Conor del Rio). Renato is horrified at the prospect of having a brother he did not know about but even more horrified that it is the rude coffee customer!
Now they are both thrust together to discover what really happened to Flavio after leaving Renato and after because it is clear that neither truly knows the man they both call their father. Closed off to Asher makes the beginning of the trip all about the ramblings of his brother driving him also so insanity. But clue after clue brings the story of what really happened, and they get another road buddy in baby Renato.
Family has its own set of truths!
Luis Gerardo Mendez as Renato is a self-made business executive that has closed himself off to relationships like the one with his fiancé’s son because of what happened with Flavio. A bit strict and stringent keeping his feelings locked up, it is not a surprise when he sees Asher. All he sees is someone who is not strict, stringent and took his father. It is a mixture of an adult reacting and a child although which one is which is up to the viewer. I have to say that Mendez made me laugh just as much as Rio.
Rio as Asher is a guy who seems to have had it easier than his brother Renato, at least as far as Renato is concerned. A little different in this thinking, he just wants everyone to be happy and to love his family. Of course, he is lacking in direction because no one has ever expected much from him and it shows. The scene where he finally explains his feelings to Renato is very touching.
Espinosa as Flavio cannot make it right for his older son Renato and cannot explain why to his younger son Asher. Espinosa’s portrayal of Flavio has no cultural lines because life is messy, complicated and unpredictable and Flavio experienced all of those in abundance. Atonement can be hard, but Flavio made it interesting and even funny.
Other cast includes Jose Zuniga as Evaristo, Vincent Spano as Mr. B, Alma Sisneros as Sister Helen, Jwaundace Candece as Doris, Beatrice Hernandez as Sister Marisa, Teresa Decher as Beatrice, and Biance Marroquin as Tere Murguia
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HALF BROTHERS is a story of what happens when life takes you to an unexpected place, it is about anger, sadness, jaw drops, frustration all swirled into the arms of forgiveness and understanding. It does not hurt that there is a lot of comedy mixed into that because, lets be fair, families can be hysterical even if they do not try. I also have a newfound respect for goats.
As each mystery is solved, another one presents itself giving the brothers time to stop acting like kids and step up to being accepting adults.
This is definetly a get-together film for everyone to enjoy in a time where having a few laughs and plenty of warm emotions is really needed – even if it is provided by two unlikely brothers like Renato and Asher.
In the end – there is no running from family!