She wore Birkenstock Gizeh sandals. She carried a Kahr K-9 series 9 mm semi-auto in her shoulder bag. She killed seven miscreants in cold blood and took out another one with a tire iron in the space of about three months – all in a city where she once wandered aimlessly, narrating into a tape recorder about walking the “safest city in the world.” She never even pulled the trigger with a proper squeeze or placement. She always shoved her finger through to the second joint, and sometimes she even closed her eyes when she pulled the trigger! And yet, the gun worked for her at close range.
My husband and I are at least two years behind in movie watching. In this case, make it three. We sat and watched Jodie Foster, called Erica Bane, in “The Brave One” the other night. We didn’t think we’d like it, and that it would exemplify Hollywood’s attempt at portraying the gun as a big bad entity unto itself that jumps into action when you least expect it to and before you know it, someone is dead.
If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out. Not only does it work on the notion that a firearm empowers a woman, it also explores the attitude necessary to defend yourself to the death – either yours or someone else’s.
It explores a lot of other much deeper problems associated with violent crime – such as a victim’s desire to become someone else after suffering a horrific trauma. I work with a girls’ program at the local Boys and Girls Town Missouri, called Changing Prisms, and that is one of the major residues from being violated. Many of the girls just do not like who they are, and some of them are young teenagers. And, it’s not their faults. Usually, it’s some male member of the family’s fault and a mom who didn’t protect them.
So, they become someone else.
One of the coolest metaphors in this movie, really poignant, happened when Erica Bane (Jodie Foster) returned to the tunnel, aka the crime scene where her boyfriend lost his life when they were brutally attacked, and her dog found her. The gang bangers that perpetrated the crime – the three thugs she had just murdered earlier – had kidnapped her dog. (That’s another thing … throughout the movie I kept asking, “Where’s the dog?”)
Of course I realize that New York City has stringent gun control laws and unless you’re a politician, CEO of a major corporation or Rosie O’Donnell, you cannot 1) employ 2) acquire or 3) buy personal protection in the form of a firearm. Of course I realize that Erica Bane committed murder and I am not saying that was cool.
The approach though, and the raw need for revenge and the struggle of a good person to stop violence by those who are not good, that made this movie get 9 out of 10 cool stars on my rating system.
Oh, and the Birkenstock choice? I own that style in Black, just like Jodie wore in the movie, along with four other colors in the same model and highly recommend. I won’t be shooting in them at the range, though. They still get a 10 out of 10 for cool. ~Barbara Baird