Jodie & Naveen Shine in “Death Wish” Redux

For Indian movie fans tired of seeing their favorite Bollywood babes go through the motions of acting in movie after movie, Jodie Foster is an acting revelation.

One of the finest actresses of our generation, Jodie Foster delighted us in Silence of the Lambs, Panic Room, Accused, Flightplan and even that old Robert De Niro starrer Taxi Driver in which she plays a child prostitute.

Who can forget the sight of FBI agent Clarice Starling pitting her wits against the dreaded human monster Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs or playing the scared mother in Panic Room after her home is invaded by criminals

In her new movie The Brave One, Jodie Foster once again brings to the big screen a powerful range of emotions that’s a joy to behold, especially for Indians starved of seeing some decent acting. Tragically for Indian movie fans, Bollywood has several stars but few actors.

Jodie Foster & Naveen Andrews in The Brave One

In its story, Brave One is similar to the 1974 hit movie Death Wish starring Charles Bronson.

While on a late evening walk in Central Park, radio show host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) and her fiancee David Kirmani (Naveen Andrews) are mugged by a vicious trio of punks that leaves her in a coma for three weeks and the boyfriend dead.

Soon after Erica’s recovery you see her buying an illegal 9mm gun. And sure as hell, you know what follows next. Erica Bain doesn’t hesitate to use her new powerful toy against the perps. And she does it again and again while stalking the mean streets of New York.

In a convenience store, in the subway and in a park, you see the flash of steel and the bloodied corposes she leaves in her wake.

In one of the memorable scenes of Brave One, Foster cries plaintively after shooting some scumbags on the train:

 Why don’t my hands shake? Why doesn’t somebody stop me? 

Much of New York City is on her side as the vigilante dares to do what many of them dare not.

Closely tracking the various homicides involving the vigilante as well as her own mugging is Detective Mercer, played with elan by the talented African-American actor Terrence Howard.

British actor Naveen Andrews plays the role of a young doctor deeply in love with his girl Erica and in a desperate rush to get married to her.

Although Naveen Andrews (son of Indian immigrants to the U.K.) doesn’t have that much of a role in Brave One, he still manages to leave an impression. And that’s a very hard thing to do, particularly when you are cast opposite Jodie Foster.

While American movie critics have in general panned Brave One, there’s little to dislike about the movie. The narrative is neat and smooth, script tight and the acting par excellence.

Yes, the Brave One story’s been told before but still that doesn’t take away from the joy of watching this movie.

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