In the jungles of Southeast Asia, tiger cubs Koumal and Sangha play among the temple ruins under their parents’ watchful eyes. Their idyllic world is turned upside down when a British hunter and adventurer, Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce), comes in search of Buddhist artifacts. The hunting party wins a life-or-death confrontation, and the orphaned cubs become separated. Aidan rescues Koumal from certain death, and the two quickly bond. Sangha becomes the beloved pet of five-year-old Raoul (Freddie Highmore), son of the colonial governor (Jean-Claude Dreyfus). After a year, the cubs — now magnificent adults — are taken into captivity. One brother is trained as a circus performer, and the other has become a ferocious fighter. Like two gladiators, Koumal and Sangha are eventually placed in an arena to fight to the death as entertainment for the royal family. This heart-wrenching drama draws viewers into a thrilling, emotional ride of natural beauty, love, tenderness, tragedy and suspense.
Two sides are presented in this moving film: that of the hunter who tells himself he is saving human lives by killing dangerous animals and that of the hunted who kill in self-defense when they are threatened. The film closes with an urgent plea to the public to save endangered animals. The mother tiger falls into a trap as the hunters close in, and Koumal and Sangha are surrounded by a circle of fire after they escape their captors. There’s no visible bloodshed, but some action scenes are very intense. One old tiger is killed (off camera) when he outgrows his usefulness. But the overall tone of the film is uplifting, reminding us that all life is a precious gift from God. Dove recommends “Two Brothers” for the family but issues a strong warning that it may be too intense for children under five or sensitive kids.