Verdict: 3 / 5
As the title suggests, this is an exploration of the relationships between siblings. It opens with a comic book motif, which is carried throughout the film, revealing the characters inner thoughts and tying it to a youthful symbol, reminding us that our siblings are often our strongest connection to our past. The whole film is presented as a documentary, while not actually being one, and this technique – although a bit perplexing at first – works out really well and adds a raw and honest quality to the film, which it simultaneously tries to do with the portrayal of the relationships between the four pairs of siblings it follows.
The director, Carl Bessai, handles his material extremely well – often with tongue in cheek, but always with the utmost honesty. He understands the complex dynamic that exists between siblings, while exploring the power struggles within family relationships. He does an excellent job of creating the kind of discomfort that awkward family moments can produce, as well as the resulting angry tension. The actors are all incredible, wonderfully portraying both their characters, the relationships with their families and the power play that exists between them. This is, of course, mostly evident between the siblings, but is taken a step further by showing the relationships the characters have with their parents – whether they are seen in the film or not, they are at least mentioned or suggested.
The film is unexpectedly funny. It is not so much in the dialogue that the humour lies, but rather in its dry delivery and the actors’ willingness to mock their characters at times, while remaining faithful to them and revealing their vulnerability in order to make you care for them, particularly as they can get on your nerves when they start fighting and yelling at each other. The film revs up at the end with a series of wonderfully emotional punch-outs and then winds down with warm, heartfelt resolutions that emphasise its themes of family and acceptance.