"It is the final measure of bravery is to stand up to death."
The Brave is a remarkable and affecting film with a touching story that should keep any viewer compelled. With Johnny Depp giving an incredible and arousing performance as well as directing with gripping style, this is a film that I am happy to have seen despite the emotion that I felt while watching it.
The Brave tells a unique story focusing on courage, bravery, audacity and death. It would be impossible for anyone to finish this movie without being affected by it's deep meaning and passion, which comes across as a beautiful and expressive film. I know that I certainly haven't seen a movie with a story anything like this one before, it is unique in a way that is astonishing as well as strange. Johnny Depp is Raphael, an unemployed and alcoholic American Indian who has just been released from jail. His time away from his family has caused his relationships with them to be not as good as he would like them to be. Their small family lives in a trailer park near a dump, and surrounded by unlikely people all with the commonality of being poor and with equal power. Raphael knows that this place is not good for his family, and only wants good for them... so much that he would be willing to do anything for them to live a better life. When he is offered a 'job' which would guarantee his family more than enough money to allow this, he cautiously accepts the offer that will mean his death. This may not seem like much, like a typical film with a strange and surreal story.. but I can assure you, it's much more. As influential as it is persuasive, The Brave kept me immersed within the story for the entire film, although some scenes were not needed quite as much as others. Most of the scenes came across with potent acting and profound scenes, with only a few moments that drifted off into something seen before. Something about this tragic plot is strikingly riveting and engrossing, which resulted in me becoming extremely connected with the characters. The Brave also has one of the saddest and best endings I have ever seen. Shock and grief flooded over me when I realized that it ended as it did, making the whole experience even more memorable than it would have been. It's not often that you see a movie with an ending as defined as this one.
Based on the novel by Gregory McDonald, and with screenplay by Paul McCudden, Johnny Depp, and his brother; Daniel Depp, the dialogue was very poignant and strong, despite the fact that the film's main concept seemed to be something different. To me, the impressive element that has left me so influenced was not the screenplay, but more the beautiful and intense directing - consisting of breathtaking shots and a striking intake on the movements. Some of the most powerful moments in The Brave came from scenes where little words are spoken, and the visual image in itself becomes overpowering.
Iggy Pop's original music for this film was very unique to say the least. At the start it seemed strange and perhaps even like it wasn't suited to the film, but as the movie goes on, the stirring score adds diversity to the overall film and makes some scenes in particular incredibly intense and transfixing. To me, the score was responsible for the range of emotions that came to me from The Brave. At one moment the sounds of fast music and laughter from the characters brought joy to me and happiness for watching the story become so enjoyable to watch - but at other times, the impressive score brings the disturbing or upsetting images to have even more impact on the viewer, making this film a lot more emotional to watch than I would have expected it to be.
Johnny Depp - what can I say. The man continues to surprise me with his talent, and this is yet another character that shows what a diverse actor he is. His performance is incredibly passionate and deep, resulting in it being astounding to watch. Even after the huge amount of his films that I have seen, it amazes me to see him each time in a completely different role, and still shining with his talent and affecting performance. Marlon Brando had a significantly smaller role that I would have thought in this film. In fact, he only has one scene in the whole film. I can't say that he is particularly amazing for his small role, but he is more than capable of delivering the performance that was needed. The Brave also had a handful of great performances from actors like Marshall Bell, Elpidia Carrillo, Frederic Forrest and Luis Guzmán. The acting overall is one of the greatest things that this film has to offer. Although the story closely centres on Raphael, the other acting is exceptional when needed.
Overall, The Brave is a film that I would strongly recommend. Fans of Johnny Depp already have a reason to see this; otherwise anyone in the mood for a unique and highly moving drama should see this. While some might find this boring and not interesting, to me it is completely the opposite. You just need to give it the attention it needs to find yourself touched and compelled until the end.