The Brave One (2007)
Synopsis: A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge
The usual female archetype in the film is the image of woman being mistreated, abused and silenced. When given the chance to speak, they will be shut up by a certain force or by fear. At the start of the film, there’s Erika who enjoys the company of his soon-husband-to be, until they encounter a group of criminals who beat them. Another woman is seen in the film that was killed by his partner. She is identified to reveal the criminal acts of his husband but was found dead. Another girl who appeared in the film is Chloe, the prostitute.
In terms of the archetypal shift, Erika’s character did the greatest move to leave the archetype of a woman that is abused and mistreated. She decides to take justice in his hands compared to the detective who has literally the just to kill in his hands.
In the film, Erika’s character is dominant than Detective Mercer. Female archetypes are those women who are always passive, but here Erika is more dominant than all the characters especially Mercer. Her archetypal shift is visible when she first shot the gun in a convenient store. Her hands are shaky when she first shot the gun, but during her second shot in the train, it naturally comes within her. She seems to be another person, there’s no one stopping her, it becomes a natural act whenever she feels mistreated.
There are certain scenes that make Erika’s character hesitant to change like the scene where she goes to the police and turns herself in, inquiring a homicide by Erika Banes. The police officer said that there is no Erika Banes, but she insisted that there should have.
The shifts are significant in the narrative to imply the coping stage of Erika. It slowly peels of Erika’s fear one by one until she becomes another person, a character that is ready to defend herself, that is out of the ordinary, beyond the female archetype. But I think, the ending scene is vague. Erika submits herself to Detective Mercer, she handed her gun to Mercer. But the twist is Mercer gives Erika his “legal gun” making Mercer’s character active and Erika becomes passive.