Foster, Howard give stellar performance in “The Brave One”

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

It is not every day you see a film that keeps you on the edge on your seat. The last time I felt this way about a movie was when I went and saw “Transformers.” But who wouldn’t be excited to see a film where robots are battling each other and trying to save the world?

This time around, it was a film that had no special effects and was not based on a comic book. “The Brave One” starring Jodie Foster and Terrance Howard put the audience at a place where it was alright to be on the side of the heroine and made them question what their actions would be if they were in the same situation.

The film is set in present-day New York City. Erica Bain (Foster) is a woman that has a simple life. She is a radio talk show host who is about to engaged to her doctor fiancée David, (Naveen Andrews). While the two are walking their beloved dog one evening, they are approached by three young thugs who end up beating them savagely. In the end, Erica is left bruised, broke, and without a fiancée.

In an attempt to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, Erica, who is now very paranoid in her surroundings, buys a gun illegally and in hopes to gain some comfort. But, after walking into a convenience store and witnessing a murder, she is face to face in a situation in which she could have been killed. Instead, she kills the murderer and walks out of the convenience store a different person.

The film goes through a string of scenarios where she is put in the place of a weaker being, but comes out on top. The next scene puts Foster on a subway being assaulted with a knife by two other thugs, but she kills without hesitation and walks off of the subway. By this point in the film, the people of the city are calling her a vigilante.

But there is a double-life to our heroine. She also goes back to her job on the radio and becomes close friends with Detective Mercer (Howard); a tired NYC cop that is always chasing the bad guy with little results. While their friendship is seemingly warm-hearted and kind, in the end, it turns into a bittersweet moment between the two. There is also the ethical dilemma that Mercer must face: should he turn her in or let her go?

While I am not going to spoil the ending for you, I will say that it will definitely surprise you. It will also make you question what your actions would be if you were in this position. Would you kill those who harm others, or would you try to pick up the pieces of your life and start over? There was also another element to the film that I would hope no one would look over. The idea of what a person is to do with their life after they are victimized is a question that many of us will not have to answer in this lifetime. It is very obvious that Foster’s character is hurting after her fiancée’s murder and is desperate to get back to normal. But, is picking up the pieces ever as easy as we think it is?

I feel that, like Foster’s character, we all walk around with fear in our hearts, but for some reasons, we look past it and continue to move on with our lives.

The film, directed by Neil Jordan, had a great story line and really shows why Foster has already won an Academy Award and why Howard was nominated for one. There was not a dull moment in the film and I was always wondering what would happen next. And for those of you out there that think this is some sort of “girl power” film about a woman with a gun, you will be shocked to find out that everyone should equally enjoy this movie.