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Hockey Films - The Rhino Brothers

The Rhino Brothers DVD cover

What the box says...

Hockey Night In Canada With A Twist!

Stefan Kanachowski is a young man struggling to reclaim his life from the wreckage of his failed professional hockey career.  He returns home hoping for comfort from his mother Eileen, but she sees Stefan more as an NHL prospect that a son and cannot forgive him for his failure. 

Stefan’s two brothers still live in town - Sasha, a bitter drunk because he never made it past the minor leagues as a player and Victor, a model brother who has a wife and kids and owns a successful sporting goods store.  Victor, who still happily plays on the local beer league team called the Rhinos, hopes he has the answer to both Stefan’s malaise and Sasha’s bitterness.  But is this beer league ready for The Rhino Brothers?

“So Canadian you can almost detect the faint whiff of stale suds and rancid hockey bags” - Katherine Monk, Vanvouver Sun

View from Block 107...

At first glance The Rhino Brothers appears to have some similarities to one of the best hockey films around - Mystery, Alaska - with it’s examination of hockey within a small community.  However, that’s where the similarities end.  Where Mystery was an upbeat feel-good movie, The Rhino Brothers is a more gritty affair and probably more realistic for it.

The main storyline is one of the prodigal son who has been cut from his NHL team but hides this initially from his family behind the ruse of being injured and having to recover from that injury.  For small communities across Canada this must be a familiar story, the local ‘star’ heads off to make it big and inevitably some will return having not quite made the grade.

What follows is an examination of the relationships between the three brothers and their mother and their involvement in the local beer league team.  The hockey sequences are not on a par with some of the higher budget films but they do reflect the grittiness of that type of league well.

The film is a fascinating insight into what happens in small town communities and the effects that hockey can have on the people in those communities.  Be warned though, this is definitely not one to watch with the kids if you don’t want them hearing bad language.

Overall, a fairly enjoyable hour and a half but not a patch on the superior Mystery, Alaska and Slapshot

PD - 16/01/05

The Rhino Brothers is available on Region 1 DVD

The Rhino Brothers
The Rhino Brothers