Oscar-winning Danish director Susanne Bier’s acclaimed 2004 drama focuses on two brothers whose relationship is forever altered when one of them is taken prisoner while serving in Afghanistan. Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Connie Nielsen star. Remade by Jim Sheridan in 2009 with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman.
One of Denmark’s most acclaimed screen composers and a regular collaborator of Susanne Bier, Johan Söderqvist (Let the Right One In, Kon-Tiki, In a Better World) provides Brothers with an assemblage of mostly short but highly effective cues boasting a variety of musical styles and instrumental arrangements. Already underlining the film’s dense emotional landscape of jealousy, guilt and loneliness in the title track “Brothers” (which recurs in such tracks as “Afghanistan” and “Time Passing”), Söderqvist merges European and Central Asian folk motifs and indigenous instrumentation, including gypsy accordion, establishing the tense, introspective approach he continues in such tracks as the simple “Sarah’s Theme,” the haunting electronic drone of “Missing Him,” the soul-searing melancholic violin solo of “Repentance,” the brooding electric guitar of “Homecoming” and the gentle, mournful power of the song “When I’m Coming Home,” sung by Irish singer Andrew Strong of “The Commitments.” Never predictable, always unforgettable, it’s a score which, like the film itself, reaches deeply and never lets go.