“Brahmin Bulls” offers a refreshing and honest peek into the relationship of a father and son. The film, directed by NYU alumnus Mahesh Pailoor, manages to balance poignant, raw and realistic moments in the lives of two men with both levity and sincerity.
This story follows Ashok Sharma (Roshan Seth), who visits his son Sid (Sendhil Ramamurthy) on the other side of the country. Ashok has not spoken to Sid in a long time, though this visit is not just a gesture of reconciliation. Ashok also has plans to reconnect with an old flame.
Sid — an idealistic architect who is facing a divorce and a conflict at work — is shocked to find his father on his front porch one evening. Sid is hesitant at first to let his father into his life, but as time passes, emotional walls break down.
As this visit is chronicled throughout the movie, one of the most appealing aspects is the raw honesty of the relationship and the interactions between father and son. The conflict and resentment between them is addressed quietly and realistically. Rather than with harsh aggression, these negative feelings are made obvious through the awkwardness in their interactions and avoidance in communication and contact. This provides a realistic view of how a parent and child would respond to each other, and it makes the film all the more touching and resonant.
Acts of caring, thoughtfulness and love break up the tension-filled moments. These moments help create a full picture of the nuances in the relationship. The perfect example of one of these endearing moments was when Ashok, in an effort to take Sid’s mind off of his divorce, takes him out and serves as his wingman.
Toward the middle of the film, Ashok innocently buys drinks for and talks up his son to two girls Sid’s age, much to the embarrassment of Sid. This scene stands out and demonstrates how, through all the superficial conflict and major mistakes, these characters truly care about each other’s well-being. It serves as a testament to Pailoor to depict the raw realism of this delicate relationship, as well as the actors’ talent and chemistry.
The poignant universality of the main relationship lingers long after the credits have rolled. Heartfelt and thought-provoking, it would truly be a tragedy to miss “Brahmin Bulls.”
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Nov. 12 print edition. Email Anubhuti Kumar at [email protected]