In the film We Were Wolves, musician Danny (Steve Cochrane) and family man Nick (Peter Mooney) are brothers who have been estranged for many years. Their father recently passed and the brothers come together to try and make amends. While Nick is visiting their country home by the lake, Danny shows up to surprise his younger brother.
Nick was the geek of the family, struggled with weight issues and did
everything right as he tried to please people around him. He married a girl (Jennifer) he fell in love with while in high school. They decided to have a family together and have two children. While the first few years were like a dream, Nick’s married life is been going through a rough patch. He takes some time away at the country home, while also organizing a few things for his dad. As his dad’s caretaker, Nick struggles alone, without any support from his family. He carries the bitterness of having been abandoned by everyone to shoulder the heavy responsibility.
When the brothers meet, Danny is living in his car, with no music career to speak of and while he seems genuine in his efforts to try and set things right with his brother, the real reason he is back is to find out if his father left him anything in the will. He finds out that the country cottage was left to both the brothers and he begins to nudge Nick to sell the family property.
The skeletons drop out of the closet. Old family traumas are revisited, relived through constant swearing at each other. Danny is depicted as this out-of-control 40-year-old, who is always ready to smoke his next joint. He constantly makes homophobic remarks to Nick who is more of the ‘feminine’ type, topping it by calling him ‘snickers’ all the time. Nick doesn’t like the name one bit and is constantly bothered by his brother. He is not gay, just the nicer one of the two. He does in the end mar his image and comes clean about his infidelities and his unhappy marriage, which surprises Danny.
A neighbor, Kathleen Huntington (Lynda Boyd) shows up. She had a relationship with their father before he passed, and ends up sleeping with Danny after a long night of drinking. She acts as the catalyst for the brothers to broker some sort of peace.
The film is tardy and extremely uninspired. While there is some attempt at emotionally connecting with the audience given the never-ending cycle of family trauma and history that is revisited, the story never finds any center and the actors are average at best. Boyd is the only one who holds her own in a rather dull storyline.
As a final thought, the title finds its relevance because the brothers have a memory of running into the woods, naked and getting on all fours and howling into the night as wolves when they were younger. That is the most touching memory they share and reminisce about it. I am not easily unimpressed, but the film could have done much more with themes of aging parents and shared sibling trauma.
We Were Wolves is out now on VOD from Video Services Corp.