'The Brave One'
(Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, et al / DVD / R / (2007) 2008 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: "Why don't they stop me?" Erica Bain wonders. Bain, a popular N.Y radio host, watched her fiance die and nearly lost her own life to a vicious, random attack. Now she discovers a stranger within herself, an armed wanderer in the urban night, out for vengeance and at war with her own soul. Two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster, as Erica, joins Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, as a determined cop hot on her trail. Erica's future is uncertain, but one thing is not: THE BRAVE ONE is a high- tension thriller that packs a visceral and emotional punch.
DVD Verdict: "The Brave One" is an examination of what it might take for a real person to become a vigilante, an examination of what might drive a normal woman to become judge, jury, and executioner.
Erica Bane played by Jodie Foster is one of those women you want to emulate. She is a free wheeling, honest, liberated woman who loves her job and her man. She works for an NPR like station in the 'safest large city in the world". Her voice is authentic and sexy, intelligent and draws you into her world. She loves her life until...Erica and her fiancee are walking their dog one evening in Central Park when they are both assaulted by a team of thugs. Erica is badly beaten, and her fiancee is beaten to death. One moment in time when your life is unalterably forever changed.
Erica takes three week to recover from her head injury and she goes home, alone to her empty apartment. It takes her days to weeks to obtain the courage to walk out the front door. This tragedy has left her changed, she lives in fear, but she finally determines she will no longer allow the fear to rule her life. Erica buys a gun. She is weak and fearful but she cannot sleep. So, Erica walks the streets at night.
She witnesses a convenience store murder and in self defense kills the perpetrator. In this one instance Erica faced her fears and killed them with a gun. As time goes on, Erica faces her fears with her anger spurring her on. What is it that is pushing Erica on? In my mind it is facing her fears and surviving. The film is brilliant in its depiction of Erica facing these fears- her anxiety, her grief. The film gives Erica enough time to explore the confusion, frustration and sadness that envelopes her. This is an extraordinary performance by Jodie Foster, one of her best.
Into the picture comes a police detective played by Terrence Howard. This is one of the most believable performances I have seen. My eyes were opened to this man with his sexy, open, honest performance. He is the only member of the police department who actually listens to Erica. She is torn and tormented by what she is doing but she can't stop.
The grit and determination, the reality of a life living and facing your fears is open for a look within. What this terror, grief, and violence does your life is open for us to view. The clues left and discovered by the police detective is also open for us to view. An extraordinary film that does not gloss over nor trivialize the passion, fears and self loathing that becomes pervasive. I was truly mesmerized by these performances and the film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
"I Walk the City”: A Making-of Documentary (21 mins)