Struggling to recover emotionally from a brutal assault that killed her fiancé and left her in a coma, a radio personality begins a quest for vengeance against the perpetrators that leaves a bloody trail across New York City.
David Kirmani,a medical professional, lives in an apartment with his sweetheart, Erica Bain, a radio host, and his dog. They usually take the dog out for a stroll in nearby Central Park and let him run and fetch. One day while at the park they let the dog run without a leash, and when he does not return or respond to their calls, they frantically search for him. They eventually find him being held by three men who want a reward. When David refuses, they start to molest Erica and David intervenes. Two of the men assault the couple, while the third uses a camcorder to film this incident. Erica is knocked unconscious, and regains her senses several days later in a hospital. She is told the shocking news that David was killed and the dog is missing. A traumatized Erica returns home to try and regain her life. She also visits the police station but does not get much help. Fearful of a repeat of this type of incident, she gets an unlicensed gun and carries it with her all the time. One day ... Written by
Erica Bain's last name may be a play on words. A "bane" is a cause of harm, ruin, or death. See more »
In a scene where Erica is sat in her apartment making a recording for her radio show, she says: "New York, like any metropolis, is an organism that changes, mutates; buildings sprout like chromosomes on the DNA of its streets". This suggests that DNA are made up of chromosomes when, in fact, chromosomes are made up of DNA. See more »
[voiceover, doing her radio show]
I'm Erica Bain. And as *you* know, I walk the city. I bitch and moan about it. I walk and watch and listen, a witness to all the beauty and ugliness that is disappearing from our beloved city. Last week took me to the gray depths of the East River where Dmitri Panchenko swims his morning laps, like he has every morning since the 1960s. And today I walked by the acres of scaffolding outside what used to be the Plaza Hotel. And I thought about Eloise....
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Jodi Foster serves up a dish best served cold in revenge thriller
"The Brave One," is a revenge film that is different then most revenge films. What director Neil Jordan does to separate this film from others is that he immerses the audience through the psychology and consequences when one decides to take the law into their own hands, rather then focusing on the killing spree and violence of other similar pictures.
In "The Brave One," Foster plays a radio talk show host, Erica in New York City and is caught up in the illusion of a safe, happy life. She's engaged to a handsome doctor, and carries a distinguished radio show, but all this crumbles into pieces after a fateful run in with punks in a park assault Erica and her fiancée, leaving Foster battered and bloody and her fiancée dead.
After Erica is in a coma for three weeks, the scars from the experience paralyze her emotions. Foster's raw emotion comes through in her acting with great strength, as we see this tidal wave of tragedy ruin her entire life. The city that she once loved now is seen as a dark, hostile, soulless environment as she sees the repressive pry on the weak and the law seems powerless to stop it. After failing at reaching detectives to help find her husbands killer, and her own fear for her safety, she decides to pick up a gun to protect herself.
Erica's own morality is changed forever, after she witnesses a man gunning down his wife at a connivance store. She begins to wallow and cry in fear, but her pain of her past causes her to act in anger as she guns the man down. The experience causes Erica to feel dignified and unafraid. She does not want to be an innocent, vulnerable bystander to the repressive anymore, and does not want to shy away from the repressive when they come across her.
The process of her road down to becoming an avenging angel is a slow digression, and witnessing her developing resistance towards injustice is very moving to watch. Most thrillers such as this one have plots that seem strained, but "The Brave One's" storyline gives much time for the viewer to understand Erica's emotions and the motives she chooses to signify them.
When Erica meets the detective investigating her case, she becomes fascinated with him, as she realizes that he is trying to put away a ruthless criminal who has escaped the law. To cover for her crimes, she displays interest in him through her work as a DJ and interviews the detective, played by Terrance Howard. This makes for another interesting storyline in the film. She asks him, "is there anything you can do to bring this man to justice?" His reply is, "yes, but it wouldn't be legal," Erica now decides to take the stance as a vigilante, as she decides to bring this ruthless criminal to justice herself.
Erica now becomes ensnared in the endless battle between law and justice through trying to realize where they actually diverge. Foster carries vulnerability in the film but also strength and diligence. Emotional resonance from characters that are real and relatable are hardly seen in film, giving most films a dry and unauthentic look. But Foster engrosses us in Erica's soul. Few actresses can pull off a role like Erica in film today, but Foster stands alone as one of the best character actors's working today.
The film poses controversial questions to the soul rightness of conducting vengeance on those who impart their control and power on others. How can justice prevail when the good do nothing? This question, as well as many more, is raised and the audience is left to discover their own answers on morality.
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