By Corinne Love
By Corinne Love
The yellow poster stares back at audiences and pulls them in with a single question.
How many wrongs does it take to make a right?
Apparently, not enough for Jodie Foster’s new film “The Brave One” directed by Neil Jordan.
Foster’s new film is another product in an assembly line of likened characters and plots, the wronged woman and how she plans to deal with it.
Much like Foster’s other films “The Accused,” “Fightplan,” and “Panic Room,” “The Brave One” puts strength back into the hands of the wronged woman, accessorized with a 9mm handgun.
Foster plays Erica Bain, an NPR radio personality type who has everything, a considerable career, her fiancé David (Naveen Andrews), and an upcoming wedding.
While out one night, the couple walks their dog and are brutally attacked by a group of young men.
This is the most intense scene in the film with it’s shaky camera movement (one of the young men is taping the incident) and hurried pacing; it captures a horrible experience and sends it into overdrive as the audience is forced to become voyeur.
The audience learns that Bain is left to an unclear amount of time in the hospital, and that her fiance died that night. This moment in the film captures Bain’s fragility as well as her growing frustration.
The aftermath of the incident leaves Bain with a paralyzing amount of fear and the audience can feel it when she takes her first steps out of the hospital room.
However, the delicacy of that scene is forgotten when Bain sets out to become a vigilante of the dangerous New York nights.
Surprisingly, everywhere Bain seems to go requires her to play the vigilante to a hilt.
It seems implausible, and yet it works in the movie because the pacing is so quick, the violence so gratuitous, that it does not give the audience a chance to catch up to Bain’s emotional and mental state. The only answer audiences can assume is that the incident spurred her to buy a handgun (illegally) and take control literally into her own hands.
At the beginning of the film, we can see Bain turning into a “killer,” we can see her transition from nonchalant happy-go-lucky bride to be, into a cold faced “killer” who is convinced that the law is definitely on her side.
Terrence Howard does an impeccable job as Detective Sean Mercer, who underpins Bain’s vigilante strike by empathizing with her plight that justice seems to be out on a lunch break. The film seems to pinpoint that just about anyone, from the low-key receptionist to the low-key radio host can snap and just lose their grip on reality.
“The Brave One” has its great moments by pushing the audience to answer the morally abiding questions of whether or not what Bain is doing is essentially wrong.
Back at her radio stint, viewers call in with their opinions swaying back and forth on the vigilante. Bain handles the question with a cooled execution of deliverance by Foster’s natural husky voice. Throughout the film Foster’s facial expression and physical stature remain steely and compact, and although she’s small and fragile, her performance takes on the concept of a pocket sized switchblade.
Film goers cited that “The Brave One” is un-relentless in it’s depictions of crude and unabashed violence, but this is the film’s calling card, it is an ugly film from the first ten minutes to the last.