The Sisters Brothers Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

In his unconventional western THE SISTERS BROTHERS Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly become contract killers who struggle with their task when they are given the task of taking down a gold-seeking chemist. We reveal more about this in our review.

The Plot Summary

Oregon, 1851: They are infamous, the Sisters Brothers. Eli, the older, and Charlie, the younger (John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix), one calm and deliberate, the other a combative drunk. Unscrupulous contract killers in the service of an ominous “Commodore”. Corpses pave their way. There is blood on their hands, not just from criminals, but also from innocent people. For a large sum, they are supposed to kill a certain Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed), who has invented a miracle formula for easy gold panning: A liquid makes the gold nuggets visible in the water. A knowledge that can make the “Commodore” a fortune. Also on the genius’ trail is her contact Jim Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal). While the brothers ride from the mountains of Oregon to California, leaving a murderous trail behind them, Morris is a few days ahead of them and meets the chemist they are looking for on a trek. Instead of handing him over to the Sisters Brothers, he pursues his own goals. When the four men meet, it’s initially a matter of life or death. But the gold beckons…

Movie explanation of the ending

If there’s one genre that’s currently underrepresented on the big screen, it’s the Western. And when new films from this segment appear, they are usually genre hybrids; For example, the remake of “The Magnificent Seven”, which is actually an action film with a western backdrop, “The Rider”, which was more like a dramatic character study, or “Wind River”, which despite its subject matter is more of a thriller in the snow. Jacques Audiard (“The taste of rust and bones”) The novel “The Sisters Brothers” is now also adapting a story with obvious Western references. The heroes: mounted. The setting: Oregon, mid-19th century. The conflict: fought man against man. But there is no real western feeling, which in this case is by no means a negative thing. It’s almost what you should expect, after all, the author Patrick DeWitt has always played very freely with the rules of various genres; “The Sisters Brothers” is no exception. Jacques Audiard, who was awarded the “French Oscar” César for “Best Director” for his film, fully adapts to the original. It starts with who he has hired for the individual positions in front of and behind the camera and finds its perfection in the production. “The Sisters Brothers” is great cinema that cannot be pigeonholed.

Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) doubts his job as a hitman.

The completely opposite cast of the two main characters, Eli and Charlie Sisters, is not simply due to the fact that the two brothers are completely different characters. It could also be understood as the first sign of the fence post; “The Sisters Brothers” is not a typical western, even if the protagonists move around on horseback. Instead, Audiard, who also co-wrote the script, alternates narratively between comedy and drama. And yes, perhaps John C. Reilly, who recently appeared in the unspeakable “Holmes & Watson”, represents one of them, and Phoenix, who recently appeared mainly in quiet, down-to-earth roles, represents one (“Mary Magdalene”) the other tonal focus of the film. It also fits that Reilly has a lot of the punch lines that emerge from the funny dialogues on his side; For example, when he goes to a water-powered toilet for the first time in complete euphoria, or gives long-winded monologues about the fact that her job as a hitman may eventually take its toll on her mind. Joaquin Phoenix, on the other hand, acts in a much more subdued manner and acts as the counterpart to his brother, who is not completely unaffected by his brother’s statements. So over the course of the two hours, in which the Sisters brothers often just ride alongside each other and indulge in their conversations, thematically diverse insights emerge that not only say a lot about the characters themselves, but also about the time in which they lived who plays “The Sisters Brothers.”

With his eighth feature film directorial effort, Jaques Audiard not only delivers an entertaining character portrait of two brothers, but also an inventory of a country at a time when no one trusted anyone. The story itself revolves around a contract murder of a chemist who threatens to turn the gold prospecting world upside down with the help of a new invention. Unfortunately, this actual plot doesn’t really get going at the beginning. This is mainly because the script by Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain (the two of them wrote “Demons and Miracles” and “The Taste of Rust and Bone” together, among other things) covers the events surrounding the two brothers as well as those surrounding them Chemist Hermann Warm and Jim Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed), who are always close on his heels, remain surprisingly reserved in their roles, initially staged distinctly independently of each other. It is only when both parties finally meet that the storylines no longer slow each other down. At least they have As a viewer, you have the opportunity to get to know each of the characters individually. The fact that not each of them is blessed with the same narrative background only partially dampens the impression; after all, “The Sisters Brothers” is primarily about the events on screen to let the moment sink in. That mostly speaks for itself – the actions and words of the characters ultimately say enough to classify them and their actions.

Jim Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) is supposed to keep an eye on the chemist Hermann Warm.

As already indicated at the beginning, Jacques Audiard clearly renounces the unwritten rules of western cinema when it comes to his production. The commitment of the cameraman Benoît Debie, who is best known for his work for Gaspar Noé, does not seem particularly suitable for capturing the endless expanses of the Wild West; Debie, known for his exhilarating series of pictures, for which the artist and his freely floating camera sometimes stands on his head or dances wildly around the actors (keyword: “Climax”), holds his own for “The Sisters Brothers”. his repeatedly manic visual language. Nevertheless, his eye for controlled excess leaves its mark here too: especially in the few shootouts he relies on chaos, without relying on the shaky camera that has become standard in Hollywood actioners. Instead, he always stays very close to the characters to emphasize the disorientation in such moments; and also to capture the suffering and pain of the characters as they face physical and psychological anguish through various triggers throughout their journey. The score by Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat is fitting (“The Shape of Water – The Whisper of Water”) playful and powerful. The danger from the enemy is ever-present, but the Sisters Brothers have long since become hardened enough to keep their smiles in these moments – after all, hope for a better life dies last.

Conclusion: An unconventional, star-studded buddy movie on horseback – “The Sisters Brothers” knows how to entertain and surprise in equal measure using the mechanisms of modern western cinema. Because director Jaques Audiard often does exactly what you wouldn’t expect in this interaction.

“The Sisters Brothers” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from March 7th.

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