Media Maven: “The Brave One”

Media Maven: “The Brave One”

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The Brave One
Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Naveen Andrews, Rafael Sardina, Jan Adams, Mary Steenburgen

 

The brave one? Is it brave to recover from a savage beating that leaves one emotionally debilitated? Is it brave to be consumed by remorse and try to return to life as it was before the brutal attack?

These are a few of the questions the movie “The Brave One” poses as Jodi Foster portrays a woman left abandoned and for dead after she and her fiancé are viciously attacked in Central Park in New York City.

“The Brave One” also asks questions about justice in a system that is under staffed and overworked. What recourse do victims have in seeing reparation for crimes that befall them? How long does one wait for the capture and conviction of violent criminals? How legitimate is it to take matters into one’s hands to send the message: WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

This is the story of a mild mannered radio host of a “public radio” show. Prior to her attack, Foster brings an almost whimsical portrayal of a carefree woman in love. It is only when her world is uncontrollably shattered that we see Foster doing what she does best. She brings depth and raw pain to her character’s violent ordeal. Her character propels her disillusionment and rage into action as a vigilante.

In a Hollywood world, we can appreciate Foster’s portrayal of a broken woman driven to right terrible wrongs. We cheer the demise of criminals who have crossed a line one too many times in her presence. We relate to people’s collective frustration for a judicial system that adheres to standards, rules and procedures.

A solid supporting cast complemented Jodi Foster. Terrence Howard gave a convincing performance as a soft-spoken detective assigned to work the cases of the vigilante. An unlikely alliance between the two develops. Both want justice. Howard works within the system and Foster works a system bound only by her rules. Nicky Katt played Howard’s wisecracking younger assistant with great aplomb. Mary Steenburgen and Jane Adams as Foster’s friends offered stable performances.

As compelling as this movie was — it somehow felt manipulating. In our own lives, if under similar circumstances, would we do the same? Would we risk our freedom to become like the violent creatures that harmed us in the first place? Is that kind of action, truly, what makes a person “The Brave One”?

Rating: Three Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.

 

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