Although Tobey Maguire is best known for playing the nerdy Peter Parker and his alter-ego, the friendly neighbourhood hero, Spider-Man, the American actor has an extensive filmography that reflects his knack for varied roles across several genres. With several awards and accolades, Maguire’s distinguished performances can be noted in several films like The Cider House Rules, Seabiscuit, Brothers, The Great Gatsby and more.
While Maguire is a delight in every role he is assigned irrespective of his screentime, he delivered a particular unhinged performance which was nothing short of a revelation. Dark, unsettling and intense, he even won a Golden Globe nomination for his brilliant performance.
Directed by Jim Sheridan, the 2009 film Brothers was adapted from the 2004 Danish film. Starring Maguire, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan among others, the film was inspired by Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey.
Maguire starred as Sam Cahill, a US Marine who is deployed to Afghanistan and has to leave his wife and two children behind. In Afghanistan, he is taken captive along with a private and tortured mercilessly. Later, he is forced to kill his fellow survivor before being rescued.
Meanwhile, his wife and brother grow closer, bonding over shared interests, enraging Sam who suspects an illicit affair. In a particularly heartbreaking and claustrophobic scene, Maguire is absolutely deranged and revelatory as he undergoes a breakdown in the kitchen, threatening to destroy everything he holds dear.
Maguire’s epic portrayal of trauma, guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) earned him high praise and acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Emotionally taxing and pretty exhilarating, this drama is a tough watch as it explores families and dysfunctional relationships while delivering a strong, antiwar message. It also bears a message of hopeful redemption.
Maguire is undoubtedly the stand-out in the film, highlighting the darkness, torment and frustration his character houses. The actor apparently did not anticipate the Golden Globe nomination. He said, “I had no expectation about getting a nomination, but I was watching nonetheless. My wife and my son got really excited. I was sort of surprised — I was like, ‘Oh, wow.’ And I couldn’t hear the latter part of my name.”
Watch Brothers on Netflix now.