The Brave One
Jody faster plays the role of Erica Bain, a fictional New York radio host who waxes lyrical about the slow disintegration of the physical city around her. It’s one of those pretentious shows that no one (but presumably New Yorkers) would listen to, yet she’s successful and has a fulfilled life. Her fiancé and herself are planning their marriage when one fateful night they go for a walk in Central Park and get attacked by a group of thugs, leaving them both for dead.
Three weeks later Erica awakes from coma to find her fiancé has died and been buried, getting back into life takes time and pretty soon Erica realises that she is never going to be the same happy go lucky person she was, and in fact is living almost paralysed by fear. Such is her fear that she decides that she needs to arm herself and eventually manages to get a handgun.
One night she finds herself in a dairy and has to use her gun to defend herself, making her first killing and freaking herself at the same time. But she’s changed once again, and soon killing isn’t something she does by accident.
Conflicted and confused she tries to get help from the police but ends up building a relationship with a good cop. Ultimately the movie is heading for a showdown that will change her life once again.
As a movie it’s interesting to see a strong female lead that becomes essentially a serial killer. She does so, basically as a coping mechanism. But it creates bigger demons in her soul.
It’s not an easy movie to watch – though watching it for a second time, this time on the small screen – it seems a lot less traumatic, weather this knowing what is about to happen, or the size of the screen I’m not sure. Non-the less, it’s a very violent movie – maybe not in the number of violent incidents, but in the up front brutality of the scenes.
Jody Forster carries her role very well, creating a convincing character, one that the viewer has an easy compassion for, and we find ourselves happy that she is bringing vigilante justice to the city streets.
The real problem with The Brave One is the ending, after following a carefully crafted story for the best part of two hours it seems to run out of steam, opting for an easy, audience pleasing ending, rather that keeping with the flow of the narrative. It almost mocks the viewers intelligence rather than appeasing their emotional side.
Food for thought:
Jody Foster’s character, Erica Bain finds herself trapped in her role as a vigilante. She hates what she does but finds herself powerless to stop. It’s eating her up and will eventually destroy her if she doesn’t confront and deal with the deeper issues that are driving her. It’s a great allegory for sin, sin that becomes a controlling addiction. Sin that we don’t think we can overcome. Erica finds salvation in an unlikely place, and this salvation is almost forced on her. Sadly her salvation doesn’t really deal with the deeper issues and creates moire of a candy floss ending for the movie rather than what the movie promises. Sin is never easy to deal with, but like Erica, we have someone we can turn to for help, unlike Erica, help isn’t going for force itself upon us.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Contains Violence & Offensive Language.
Duration: 123 mins.
Genre: Suspense & Thriller, Thriller.
Director: Neil Jordan.
Actors: Jane Adams, Jodie Foster, Mary Steenburgen, Nicky Katt, Naveen Andrews, Terrence Howard, Zoe Kravitz.
Release Date: Available now.