20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2004
I watched this last night and expected to see a film about a native American Indian, Raphael, meet a snuff movie Director(Marlon Brando) take the offer to star in his film, take a stack of cash, run off to spend his guts out on trivial consumer durables with a promise to return in 1 week for his final performance. Instead it portrayed a man who, knowing he had made some bad choices in his life decides to spend the money on his wife and children in the hope of making them happy and to love him and remember him as a man who eventually did the right thing - put food on the table and provide for them. In the process he makes the whole of Morgantown happy and is loved by all. The film has sinister overtones and makes you think about this man's life and his desperation to agree to such a sad end to it; faced with no other options or hope. I was gripped to the film because it was thought provoking. Ok, I agree, the beginning had no dialogue for a while but this was to set the mood, not to thrill a viewer who has no capacity for the scene and the seriousness of this man's life and his contemplations.
The ending had me in an emotional turmoil and thoughts of the kind of torture he would experince before his life was indeed 'snuffed out', from the moment he left the trailer, making coffee for Rita for the last time, saying goodbye to his kids, as he sat on the bus,entered the building and looked up the stairs like he was walking up to heaven just blew me away. Great direction.
If you like a film with a real human side to it, emotion, good acting and not the typical Hollywood 'Boy meets Girl' or 'all gun's blazing'(and swearing) film, then I thoroughly recommend this film, it's the adepptable Johnny Depp at his art house best!! A great Directional debut, I only hope he does more movie directing. This film has been reviewed by other sites and I found them to be harsh and rude, not just about the film content but also about Johnny Depp himself which I felt were unjustified and immature, this is a film for a mature mind that accepts movies that are far from the norm and the message they send.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2003
One lazy evening I decided to watch "The Brave", not knowing what to expect, slightly curious, but with my mind on relaxing and comfortably staring at the screen. How different the next few hours would be.
As a reviewer I can only speak from my own perspective. Each viewer will have their own experience with this piece of artwork. Like a painting in a museum, some will pass it by without watching, others will be nailed on the spot and feel deeply touched and moved.
Yeah, the pace of the movie is relatively slow, specifically if compared to your usual action or thriller movie. If you get lured to this movie by the horror image of words such as "tortured to death", expecting some kind of massacre scene, lots of action and sadistic devilry filling your screen for two hours.... ermmm... perhaps think twice.
There is no flat, superficial entertainment in this movie. But there is a lot of emotion, psychology, and a stunning sense of reality, so real it almost becomes surreal.
Yet this is no sweet psychological drama either. You could momentarily attempt to withdraw safely behind the veils of wondering: "What drives this character?" But before long reality will have caught up with you. Expect to see what is also known as devilry, as simply another piece of life. Not exaggerated, but very pure, very painful and very real. The emotion in the movie is the same. No roses flying around when it comes to love and care. There's subtle love, heart to heart, honest, realistic and direct.
For me, this movie went under my skin. I watched - not comfortable - in total silence. Until, towards the end, the pain finally melted the silence of shock and tears started rolling down my cheeks. 20 minutes after the movie had finished I was still crying and I kept feeling rather off-colour well into the next couple of days.
Yeah, some things could have been different in this movie. Made it a touch more easy to watch. Perhaps. But as it is, it is well worth spending a wonderful evening on it. Whatever way it will leave you feeling afterwards. If this movie were a painting, I'd buy it.
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
I read the reviews on this film the other day and was so intrigued about the film that I ordered it. I am a big Johnny Depp fan and was excited about seeing this movie as it was his first attempt at directing. I watched it as soon as it was delivered and I couldn't move the whole way through. The first thing that struck me was there is no dialogue at all for the first ten minutes, and again the last ten are speechless. Johnny Depp plays Raphael, a Native American. He has two children and a wife to support, and isn't doing a very good job. He decides that they would be better off without him and so takes a job from Marlon Brando.
This is where I have my only criticism. In the movie it isn't made perfectly clear what the job entails, only that he will lose his life. But I think I can say, without jeapordising the plot, that the job is to star in a snuff movie. It actually says that on the back of the DVD case and I found that it makes the film all the more poingnant to know this.
Raphael is given one week to live before he has to go back and make the film. The movie follows his character as the week goes on, and it gets harder to watch as you feel his week coming to an end.
I spent the last ten minutes in absolute silence, except for my sobs and heart wrenching sadness. When it ended, I vowed not to watch it again for a while. But as the day wore on, I couldn't get it out of my head. So much so that I actually broke down in tears again just thinking about it! I watched it again that evening and cried even more as I saw things I had missed first time round.
This film is an amazing directorial debut for Depp and I would definately want to see anything he may direct in the future. He has shown that not only is he a brilliant actor, he has talent behind the camera aswell. I think this film proves that he is not just a pretty face!
This definately isn't for the lighthearted, but should you want to see something that will stay with you, then see this!!!
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2004
If you are going to watch Johnny Depp films, you need to appreciate that this man uses his face to tell his story- sometimes there is no need for dialogue.
I found this a beautiful and sad film. For me, it was about the racism that North American Indians still face in their own country and how a young man (Raphael) has lived a sterotypical life of trying to make ends meet, turning to booze and crime. As a consequence, he feels utterly worthless, figuring that selling his life so that his family can escape the life of poverty will be the best option.
The character displays such dignity, such warmth and such pain as we see (mainly though his facial expression) how he makes yet another rash decision, believing there is no other option. He then learns from his wife what he needs to do- 'If you want to provide for your family, you have to love them'- so he rekindles his relationship with his wife and children for his last 7 days.
Marlon Brando is superb in his creepy role (did he agree to be in this after Don Juan?)and so is the nasty, nasty man who makes sure R does not change his mind. The scenes with the priest were superb too.
If you want to see JD tortured then you will be dissapointed (and have missed the whole atmosphere of the film). If you want to see a beautiful and sensitive actor and director, then this is one for you.
When you see an actor, you never know how much is him and how much is good direction- when you see an actor who has directed himself, you know it has come from the heart. This film is not just about Raphael but is a strong statement about discrimination and the consequences- perhaps that is why it was condemned by the critics, maybe it made some Americans too uncomfortable?.
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2004
As someone just recently accustomed to the work of Johnny depp and a new avid fan of his, I was greatly looking forward to seeing The Brave and thankfully I was given it this Christmas.
I sat down that night and watched it from start to finish, unable to move. I was astounded as to how brilliant Johnny Depp is behind camera aswell as infront. The story follows Raphael( Johnny Depp) who, in desperation and feeling unwanted,signs himself up to star in a snuff movie.his family shall be paid $50,000 dollars after his death. He has one week to live, during this time he becomes friends with his kids and falls in love with his wife all over again. He tries to get out of the movie contract... but is it too late?
During this film every emotion is used, yet it mainly involves sadness and how the tragic fate of the American Indians has led to desperate measures, have your tissues at the ready! The soundtrack by Iggy Pop is the perfect background to this superb film which despite its slow pace remains interesting throughout. The acting is brilliant, as usual with a film starring Depp.
It makes you wish that Johnny Depp would direct more films, it is a shame he has just done one. If you enjoy movies with a deeper meaning to them, instead of wild gun fire this is for you. I also recommend it to every Johnny Depp fan out there, you simply must see his masterpiece movie.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2003
This has to be technically one of the best written, best directed films I've ever seen. It also made me sick to my stomach and haunted me for days afterwards. I literally sobbed for the last 5 minutes solidly. I think that The Brave is a huge achievement for Depp as he wrote, directed and starred in it. He is beautifully understated and gives an aching performance as a desperate man under a self imposed death sentance (or like the other reviewer you could read that as 'boring' I suppose, no offence, but you'd need an emotional hide like a rhino to see it that way).
Don't expect blood and gore because there is none, but it's a dark, dark film that will stay with you afterwards. I thought it was one of the best films I've ever seen and I can honestly say I was glad I saw it, but I never want to see it again.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2004
During an interview, JD said that when 'The Brave' was first screened atCannes, it received a standing ovation; the next day, one reviewer decidedto demolish the film, and the next thing you know is that the distributorshave pulled out and the whole project has turned into a fiasco.
Inever got to see the film until now, several years later, and what asurprise. A skeleton script with dialogue kept to a minimum, a palette ofdirt and dusty tones, and a very understated performance from JD - allthese elments somehow 'ligthen up' the darkness of the story.
Itmakes you lose faith in the film industry to think that this film wasshunned by the distributors, when other independent films like DonnieDarko become huge successes.
I can only put this down to the industry's cowardice: it is not a happystory - in fact, it is possibly the darkest story I have ever come acrossin a film, and I have seen many. It will haunt you for a while.
Don't even bother watching this film if you are expecting 'traditional'Hollywood - this is independent cinema at its best.
One final word: thestory description on the back of the DVD cover is sligthly misleading.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2004
Not ownly has he directed this film but Johnny himself plays in this epic tale. I can say that from reading a few reviews on this film it help make up mind to buy this dvd. all i can say is it is brilliant, it has a mixture of warmth, sadness, laughter. when watching it the day it was deilieved i sat up for the whole film,it made me cry aswell as making me laugh.It keeps your attention through out the whole film.If your a new Johnny Depp fan like i am after seeing him in pirates of the carribean this film is one you should definatly buy. you'll be lost with out it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2008
I'm a huge Jonny Depp fan and have been for a long time, in those years it has been rare that I have read/heard anything good about this film.
In my opinion, it's been far too harshly judged- no, it's not Depp's best performance and yes, there are flaws. However, The Brave is a film with a heart, there's some beautiful shots in the film such as the sunsets, and I feel Depp should be praised for what's good about the film not simply criticised.
I urge you to see this film and make up your own mind.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2004
I can't believe this film was never given a proper release. Having finally managed to track it down, I was really moved by this story - one of the most haunting scripts I've come across.
Obviously Johnny Depp 'makes' the film - he's incapable of giving a bad performance. But it was the non-sensationalist tone, the drab colours - you can almost feel the dust of its settings - and ultimately the horror of Rafael's destiny - that really make this one of the best pieces of independent cinema in a long time.
It goes to show that bad reviews, media feuds and whatever else can really make or break a career. I remember reading somewhere that J.D. is not planning to direct again after this experience. Well - I hope he will change his mind.