As I’ve mentioned in a previous entry, I’m a huge fan of Johnny Depp. He’s been my favorite actor for a very long time and to be perfectly honest with you, I’ve come to almost despite the POTC movies because they’ve put him out there for people to notice who don’t necessarily care about the raw talent he has. They see the somewhat gay pirate and think that’s what he’s all about. They don’t realize it’s just one of the many eccentric roles he’s played over the past few decades. Most but definitely not all of them straight from the mind of Tim Burton.
So, in order to have my own little tribute to the man, I’ve decided to come up with a little mini series on this blog, “My Favorite Movies Starring Johnny Depp”. Every now and then, I’ll bring up one of my favorite Depp movies, share the story of how I found it, what my thoughts were when I first saw it…you know, just that kind of thing.
As I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely love the work he’s done with Tim Burton. And yet, I’m gonna start this series with a movie directed by Depp himself, “The Brave”.
I’ll have you know, it’s definitely not his best work. It has none of the smooth plot lines and beautiful sceneries we’re so used to from the big pictures these days. But it’s impossible not to be touches as the story unfolds. It’s so dark and depressing, it just has to leave you breathless and anxious. Which sounds like a bad thing but what it leaves behind, along with the bitter aftertaste, is the amazement of having been touched by a movie. We’re so used to consuming movies, TV shows and books these days, without them ever leaving anything behind. This movie is not like that at all.
Apart from being the director, Johnny Depp also plays Raphael, the leading role. Raphael is a Native American guy, who’s struggling to get by and provide a life for his family. When he’s offered a large sum of money for his services, he jumps to the occasion, even though ‘services’ in this case means that he’ll allow himself to be tortured for the enjoyment of his employers.
The first time I saw it must have been some good seven or eight years ago. I was unemployed at the time and due to my days being filled with doing nothing, I had trouble sleeping. So I spent long nights watching television. And one night, I came across this movie. It came at a time when I barely had the patience to watch an entire movie but something about this one caught my attention and I was glued to the screen. I assume at first I was captured by the gruesome violence in it but soon, I realized that it wasn’t about that at all. It was about the despair Raphael feels, the guilt which makes him sacrifice himself. It gave me a dark gut feeling and “The Brave” came to my mind even days later.
Admittedly, it doesn’t feature much of an eccentric character played by Depp. Raphael isn’t the peculiar kind of person that you’d find in, say, Willy Wonka or Sweeney Todd. But he has his own strengths to bring the point of this movie across and in his own way, he’s acted out just as perfectly and straight to the point.
If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you get to it, soon. You can find the DVD for relatively little money on Amazon or elsewhere and I promise you won’t regret it.