The Brave One

  • 2007-10-17
  • Kim Kweder

 Director: Neil Jordan

It's hard to imagine how the victims of violent crime cope with the aftermath of their traumatic experiences and start living a new life, especially when they know their attackers are still walking around free. 
Neil Jordan's film "The Brave One" explores the psychological impact of a brutally attacked victim who makes it her mission to seek revenge in crime-ridden New York City. 
Radio host Erica Bain (Jodi Foster) has many wounds to heal after a horrific night in Central Park. She and fiance David Kirmani (Naveen Andrews) are enjoying an evening walk with their dog when a group of thugs approach them and ask for money.

After the couple refuses to hand over any money, the gang viciously sets upon them and even films the attack on camera.
Erica recovers from a three-week coma only to learn that her fiance died from his injuries and she inevitably falls into a deeply depressed state-of-mind.
In Erica's next radio broadcasts, she openly muses on the terrible, life-changing nature of crime and the fear that it generates. "I never understood how people live in fear," she tells her audience.
Indeed, fear is something Erica has to learn to live with after the crippling paranoia that follows her dreadful ordeal in Central Park. She purchases an illegal handgun just to give her the courage to walk down the street.
One evening Erica inadvertently gets caught up in a liquor store robbery and is forced to use her newly-purchased gun in self-defense. From that moment on she slowly but inexorably slips into vigilante mode and is closely followed by Detective Mercer (Terrance Howard), the sympathetic figure in charge of investigating the killings she carries out.

But Erica is no femme fatale or gun-toting action hero. Indeed, she explains that the only way of escaping the pain of her experience is by becoming someone else. Furthermore, she sees with her own eyes how the overworked and overstretched law enforcement agencies are simply unable to deliver real justice.
Erica's actions are made still more morally complicated by the fact that her victims are extremely unpleasant people who make their living out of other people's misery.

"The Brave One" is much more intelligent and emotionally involving than the old "Death Wish" movies and Jodie Foster's performance really is outstanding. There's a good dose of suspense thrown in for good measure making "The Brave One" a particularly satisfying and challenging film.

Now playing in Estonia and Lithuania. Opens in Latvia Oct. 19.

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