The Brave One stars Jodie Foster as Erica Bain, a successful radio host who has what looks to be quite a serene life. She lives happily with her lovable dog and fiancé David (Naveen Andrews). One night while taking a leisurely stroll in the park, the couple temporarily lose track of their canine companion. It turns out the dog had fallen into the hands of a group of petty thieves determined to take their most precious valuables. One brutal fight scene later, both Erica and her fiancé land in the hospital in nearly critical condition. Three weeks later Erica, still in the hospital, awakens to find that her lover has passed away from his injuries and she herself was lucky to be alive. When the police department proves to be of no help at all, Ms. Bain decides to exact her own form of sweet revenge. With seasoned detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) hot on her trail, Erica intricately dances along the line between good and evil and right and wrong in this thrilling film directed by Breakfast On Pluto’s Neil Jordan.
Perhaps it is just me, but when I have been asked to name some of the great female lead actresses of our time, Jodie Foster was never one that automatically came to mind. Today, that has all changed. Her performance in The Brave One is the best I have seen so far this year. The truth she puts into this role is as chilling as it is shockingly realistic. Playing a woman teetering on the edge of something even she cannot fully understand, Foster makes me a believer. Her emotion and facial expressions and the wavering of her voice sell this film. Her pairing with Terrence Howard could not have been more spot on. Speaking of Howard, he surely exhibits some of his finest work here. He plays the perfect accompaniment to Jodie’s Erica Bain and together the two kept my eyes glued to the screen.
The argument can be made that this storyline has been played out time and again. The old routine about the imbecile police who can’t seem to help so the victim takes charge of the situation him/herself is quite common in movie themes. Here though, I believe a bit of a fresh perspective is brought upon the subject and the acting enhances the film’s watch ability. I recommend this film for anyone because they will be in for a thrilling ride into the deep dark and hallowed halls of revenge, love, hatred, deceit, pain, and truth.
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