Review: My Brother, The Devil
The young and idealistic Mo wishes to be like his older brother Rashid, but as he ventures out more into the world, he realizes his traditional Egyptian upbringing has not properly prepared him for the violence and heartache that awaits in the streets of London.
Who’s in It?
Fady Elsayed is the captivating lead Mo, a empathetic figure of hope and innocence. James Floyd is his older brother, determined man who finds himself unable to close off his troubled life to the curious Mo.
A stark and challenging piece of work, Sally El Hosaini directs a powerful and intimate film about clashing cultures, loss of innocence, and self determination. The dewy-eyed optimism of young Mo runs smack into the sober realism of his older brother, a man who is living a life he wants not for his younger sibling.
Wishing so dearly to be a part of what he perceives as the cool gang, it isn’t young before Mo finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time staring down the knifes of a young a gang. He loses his shoes, among other things, and in a moment of panic runs away, one of many instances where Mo loses control of his emotions and rationality.
Mo is undeterred, and his involvement with his brother and friends continues, coming to a head during a bloody and horrific evening when rival gangs set to. What proceeds from this evocative evening deals with revenge, rivalray, and an attempt to escape the past. Rashid knows the world in which he lives, eager to escape, while Mo still has a chance to not be involved, but sibling admiration is powerful, and the pair heads towards a chilling conclusion.
El Hosaini, here directing her debut feature, places you in an unpredictable world, one where neither you as the audience nor Mo as the naïve player is quite sure what will happen next.
Should I See It?
Beautifully shot and staggeringly powerful, this is a very personal piece of filmmaking that is worth experiencing.
An invested Mo asked his brother what we’re going to do. “What do you mean ‘we?’ We are going to do nothing, we are going to stay out this.”