Payback, and then some
In “The Brave One,” two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster dons her action persona and plays a radio host turned vigilante who blows away a would-be wife beater, a set of remorseless gangbangers, a pimp and a white-collar psychopath. Although the plot bears more than a passing resemblance to “Death Wish,” that artifact from the ‘70s featuring Charles Bronson, Foster, whose tiny, wiry figure practically invades the film corporally, insists the psychology behind her woman-done-wrong is far more complicated than simple revenge.
“It’s a monstrous descent. It’s an awakening in a lot of ways,” says Foster, who says her character proceeds to cross moral boundary after moral boundary. “There’s a progression of her crossing the line to the point where she really becomes an animal.”
This said, the 44-year-old actress adds, “The ‘Death Wish’ movies were really just about what do you do when you imagine this horrible thing happening to your family. How would you make this other person pay?” At the beginning of the movie, Foster’s anti-heroine sees her fiancé mugged and killed. Still, “The Brave One,” opening Friday, “isn’t about revenge. She’s touched from the start.”
Irish director Neil Jordan, who has examined the psychology and cost of violence in such films as “The Butcher Boy” and “The Crying Game,” says Foster is actually playing a newborn “serial killer. She becomes somebody who enjoys doing this. Who kills and uses that gun because it fills some hole in her. There’s something bare about it. What she does -- you can’t hide behind a psychological explanation.”
-- Rachel Abramowitz