The movie “The Brave One” starring Jodie Foster (Erica Bain), Terrence Howard (Detective Mercer) and Naveen Andrews (Dr. David Kirmani) is a story of a simple and passionate couple, madly in love with each other and who were about to get married and was one night taking a walk at Strangers Gate in New York with their dog when they ran across three young men in their late 20’s or early 30’s who seemed to be part of a gang who wanted to document the manner they inflicted harm on their prey for the evening via a cell phone camera which they would use as a proof that they could brag about to their girlfriends.
The three men took an interest in the couple’s dog and the couple had to struggle to prevent the three violent criminals from taking their dog. This unforeseen event leads to serious bodily injuries for Erica, and death for David. Analysis The abovementioned brutal incident was the root of the alteration of the state of mind and the change of character of the victim in the movie, Erica Bain. After being in a coma for three weeks and waking up to learn that her boyfriend/fiance didn’t make it and had to be buried already since her soon to be mother-in-law wasn’t sure whether she would get out of the coma or not.
She cried after learning about this tragic turn of events for her but the movie never really showed if she has gone through the first stage of grieving which is, denial. The aftermath of learning about her boyfriend/fiance’s death is that she confined herself to their apartment and lived in fear of going out of the house because she might encounter the same incident again. She had more time to contemplate and reminisce about her life with David, which were mostly happy memories.
Eventually, she managed to push herself to go to the police station to follow up on their case but since she didn’t get the outcome she desired because she was given a spiel to wait in the lounge and an officer will attend to her just like what was said to the others who came by for the same purpose of following up on their case. This was the time that set her mind to believing that the only way that she would get peace of mind is when she gets justice for her boyfriend/fiance’s fate – justice achieved by revenge.
This incident was also what further prompted her to just get herself a weapon to protect her – more particularly a gun. When she wasn’t able to get one legally, she agreed to take the offer, by someone she met at the gun store, to purchasing one from him without the need for a license. First Contributing Factor The very incident that Erica Bain had to deal with after she had purchased a gun illegally and initially for her protection was when she went to a convenience store to purchase something to drink when the husband of the woman behind the cash register had an argument about the man not being able to see his kids.
They had a heated argument and the husband ended up shooting and killing his wife. After the man has killed his wife, he then went to the cash register to draw out the cash. However, prior to the man managing to get the money from the register, Erica’s mobile phone rang alarming the man. He immediately tried to locate the person who was the only other person in the store at that time who may have witnessed the crime he just committed.
Erica tried hard to not be seen by the man and forced her to pull out the gun from her purse to protect herself from having the same fate as the woman at the register in case the man finds her first. She eventually saw an angle and shot the man with neither hesitation nor remorse three times but only one bullet hit him which led to his death. After being sure that the man was indeed dead, she headed to the cash register where the security camera monitor was stationed and took the tape that recorded the incident because there was no one who could stand as a witness to that crime except for that tape.
She rushed to flee the crime scene, threw her jacket in the garbage, lit a cigarette, walked home and took a shower. Should this have gone to court, this case can fall under self defense justification because it meets three elements of self-defense. One is the element of imminent danger because the man can cause serious bodily injury to her or even death at the time of the attack which is why the use of force to combat the man is justified.
Two, this can also be categorized under unprovoked attack wherein the defender, Erica, didn’t provoke the attack and therefore the act isn’t pre-emptive. And three, there was an honest and reasonable belief in danger particularly serious bodily injury or death specially after having gone through a similar incident when she and her boyfriend/fiance was attacked by the three men. Erica basically just stood her ground meaning she could have just fled the store/market if not for her cell phone ringing and alarming the man and putting her at risk or danger.
Since Erica was able to just walk away from this crime scene without being apprehended due to the absence of witnesses, it somehow paved the way to the birth of an entirely different persona housed in the same body and mind. She felt dignified and unafraid after gunning the man at the convenience store. It was like she woke up a different person and that the sweet, caring, always smiling, happy and contented Erica is now buried deep inside the same body, mind and trapped in the anger stage of grieving .
Her desire to get justice, through revenge, for her boyfriend/fiance’s death and the bodily injuries that she sustained has more or less turned into her vendetta. In addition to this, Erica has never been able to open up about her emotions to anyone after their attack. She just hid deeply in her shell and alienated herself from anyone. It was only after this incident that she started to fully contemplate and realize that she has turned into another person. This led to her starting to open up initially by recording herself and eventually going back to her work as a radio talk show host.
Her first day back at work was initially hard for her and she would pause in the middle of making a statement but managed to somehow finally air out for the first time her frustrations about New York and implying things that, if you read between the line, somehow speak of her frustrations about what she realized she has become after the turn of events. Second Contributing Factor The second incident that contributed to Erica’s transformation into an avenging angel life was when she boarded the subway train one time while recording sound that she can use for her radio talk show.
There were two young men bullying and harassing the passengers and even taking an i-pod from a teen forcing them all to get off the train leaving her alone with the 2 punks who started to head towards her and one ran the tip of the knife that he had first to take off the headphones from her left ear then her right and then slowly run the knife on her neck and gradually was lead towards her breasts but never got to that point because she shot the first guy first point blank and aimed at the other guy and shot him as well. When the train stopped at the station, she just went out and headed up to the exit.
She started questioning herself on why her hands weren’t shaking and why isn’t there anyone stopping her. She continued to walk the streets and entered a bar when the police started to head towards the scene of the crime She freshened up, put on make-up and surprisingly headed back towards the scene of the crime and acted like she was there to find out what transpired. The detective saw her and headed towards her because he recognized her. She introduced herself and told the detective that she works in a radio show and wanted to interview him because the work that he did was pretty interesting but she was just brushed off by the detective.
She then headed back to her place and listened to her recorder that picked up the audio recording of the actual crime with no emotions whatsoever even after she heard the gun shots already. This still qualifies as self-defense justification because once again, this incident falls under the imminent danger element of self defense. She could have incurred serious bodily injury because the guy had a knife and worse, could cause her death. This too can be classified under the unprovoked attack element of self defense because she did not pre-empt killing the 2 men.
Though given Erica’s individual characteristic now specially killing without any remorse or emotions whatsoever, I don’t believe this can still be classified under honest and reasonable belief in danger because she was truly starting to manifest the characteristics of a cold blooded killer. Furthermore, Erica was able to interview Detective Mercer, who was investigating the case and she learned that he is trying to put away a ruthless criminal who has escaped the law. She continued to interview and show interest in him just to further cover for her crimes.
Throughout the interview process she asked the detective if there was anything that he can do to bring this man to justice. His response was yes but it’s “ nothing that’s legal. ” This response surprised her but further truly inspired her to pursue her vigilante work and take out this ruthless criminal to justice herself. This clearly doesn’t fall under self-defense justification because this is categorized as pre-emptive and she really manifests the intention to inflict serious bodily injury or even death to this person already.
Third Contributing Factor One night when Erica was taking a walk when a man in a car called her attention and asked what fifty dollars would do for her and she noticed a young hooker in the back seat so she got in the car and started talking to the young hooker. Erica didn’t like the way the man talked and so she told the man that they were both going out and when she attempted to open the door the man locked them all. This is what really triggered Erica’s anger. She aimed the gun towards the man’s head and asked him to open the door.
When he did, Erica asked the hooker to step out of the car but she didn’t want to not unless he paid him. After getting the money they both got out and walked away however, the man started the car and was going to run over them so she aimed her gun and shot him but this caused the car to swerve to where the hooker was and she got hit by the car and her legs were broken. This once again falls under self defense justification because it meets the imminent danger element because if they get hit by the car, both Erica and the hooker would either have serious bodily injury or even death.
However, this can’t fall under the unprovoked attack element because Erica provoked the man by getting him to give all his money to the hooker and even had a gun aimed at his head. Erica may have opted to do the duty to retreat in this situation because she believed that stepping out of the car and just walking away wouldn’t put them both in danger but it backfired on the hooker because she incurred serious bodily injury from being hit by the car. Fourth Contributing Factor After getting a good response from the listeners of her radio show, Erica’s boss encouraged her to take calls from their listener.
She felt uneasy about this and she got really upset when someone called claiming to be the vigilante and she walked out and headed to the police station with the intent of confessing but didn’t go through with it and took a walk instead. She ended up in a parking lot of the office of the ruthless criminal that Detective Mercer was trying to put away. Before she entered the elevator, she was on the phone talking to the detective and before they hang up the detective heard a bell sound (elevator bell) that he would later on recall as hearing when he was talking to Erica.
When she entered the elevator, the ruthless criminal was on board the elevator so she followed him up to the roof deck parking and confronted him about his crime. This aggravated the man and hit Erica with a crow bar. Erica fought back and managed to kill the man by swinging the lead pipe hard enough to make the man fall from the roof deck parking to the ground floor. In my opinion, this scene cannot be categorized under self-defense justification elements for either parties because Erica provoked the ruthless criminal urging him to hit Erica with a crow bar.
Though it can fall under the self-defense justification element of imminent danger because Erica can sustain serious bodily injury when the ruthless criminal striked her with the crowbar, it can’t be classified as self defense anymore because she was the one who provoked the ruthless criminal and she already has already pre-empted and set her mind to inflict serious bodily injury or even death to this ruthless criminal during the interview she conducted with Detective Mercer.
Fifth Contributing Factor This was also the incident that somehow made Detective Mercer suspicious about her being the vigilante killer. Clues started to lead towards her and he was starting to dig deeper and was about to confront her about the facts that has lead him to conclude that she is indeed the vigilante killer when Erica managed to track down the girl who returned the ring that was taken from her during the attack through Detective Mercer .
She tried to squeeze the address of the location of her boyfriend who was one of the three men but the girl pushed her away at first but eventually sent her a text message containing the address and attached the video of the night they were violated. Erica forwarded the video to Detective Mercer and she headed toward the address given by the girl and managed to kill the first two men. This event will not qualify to be categorized under the self-defense justification elements but clearly murder.
Though the motive is justice for what these three men have done to her and her boyfriend/fiance, one should not take the law into their own hands. Closure When Erica was about to kill the third man, Detective Mercer arrived, he stopped and forced Erica to hand over the gun to him when the man was faced down on the floor but gave it back to her and taught her how to properly handle the gun and where to shoot the man. So she managed to shoot and kill the last man she got her dog back.
Before she fled the area, Detective Mercer asked her to shoot him so it would appear that there was an encounter, he got shot and the killer got away. This is illegal way of getting things done that isn’t lawful. Somehow he did this to return the favor for Erica killing the ruthless criminal that he has been pursuing for a long time already. Again, this clearly is not qualified as a self-defense justification case but in my opinion, it is murder. Conclusion Self defense is basically a use of force to repel an unprovoked attack towards the individual.
The key to this is the word “unprovoked. ” In all situations that the victim, Erica Bain, encountered in the movie, most of them are unprovoked except for the incident with the husband of the police detective’s key witness who apparently put a bullet through her head simply because she voluntarily went to the man’s office parking area to confront him with the intention to kill. Though she got hit with a weapon first, she was the one who provoked that response to be put upon her.
She has somehow, in her quest for getting justice for the death of her boyfriend/fiance and her being beaten up and left for dead and, as a result of her being suspended in the anger phase in the stages of grieving, was no longer satisfied with the authorities just putting these criminals in prison. This is also most likely the reason why she denied that these individuals were indeed the men who violated them when they were put in a line up for her to identify.
She wanted these men to get the same fate as her boyfriend/ fiance had and the fact that if they are imprisoned, she will still not have her peace of mind knowing that there is still a possibility for them to get out of prison as compared to if they are already dead. In addition to this, after a few incidents that she was the one being provoked, she was somehow getting satisfaction pulling the trigger of the gun without any hesitation and thus has turned ice cold, without remorse, and doing vigilante acts.
Though it was for the purpose of defending other people who can’t defend themselves initially and she stopped after she was eventually able to kill all three men who was responsible for her boyfriend/fiance’s death and beating her up, In my opinion, since she purchased her weapon, the gun, illegally, it still isn’t a justification for the numerous incidents that she herself has killed a number of individuals either provoked or unprovoked.
Finally, since she purchased the gun illegally, I believe that even though some of the incidents that lead her to kill another individual can be categorized as self defense, the argument would still not hold up in court due to the fact that the weapon that she was using is not legally acquired and thus isn’t a licensed gun. The good thing about the story however is that after all the killing and events that transpired, Erica Bain did get to the final stage of grieving which is, acceptance.