By: Amanda Guarragi
We all love our mystery thrillers, and Netflix has a brand new one just for us. Brazen, directed by Monika Mitchell, dives into the life of prominent mystery writer and crime expert, Grace (Alyssa Milano). After her sister Kathleen’s divorce, she hurries back to her family home in Washington, D.C. because her. When her sister is killed and her double life as a webcam performer is revealed, Grace ignores the warnings of cool-headed detective Ed (Sam Page) and gets involved in the case. A mystery writer, solving a case that’s a little too close to home, with a cool-headed detective sounds like a pretty interesting story.
Mitchell gets right into Kathleen’s story in the opening of this film and sets the tone for how easily accessible women are in the digital age. Kathleen is going through a divorce, possibly losing her son, and still trying to keep everything together as a schoolteacher. It feels like her life is spiralling out of control, but when she’s Desiree, the cam girl online, she has power and complete control over her clients. On the other hand, we have Grace who is headstrong, determined and is not afraid to speak her mind. She has full control over her life and definitely overpowers her sister. Grace has no idea that her sister has an alter-ego and is taken aback when she finds out.
Apart from the actual crime that was committed, I found the connection between Grace and Ed to be the most interesting dynamic in the film. Pairing a mystery writer with a detective is a match made in heaven. Page and Milano had a very natural chemistry and bounced off each other quite effortlessly. Their connection made the film engaging and pushed the story along. Watching Grace try and solve the murder of her sister, using her own writing skills was actually empowering considering Ed told her to stay away because it’s a little too close to home. The story did run a little long and loses traction in the middle, but that third act reels you back in for a strong reveal.
Brazen is adapted from the Nora Roberts novel, ‘Brazen Virtue’, and director Monika Mitchell read this book three times over because of how she connected with these characters. They are all very likeable and Alyssa Milano was the perfect choice for Grace, as they share similar character traits. Even though it may seem like a generic crime thriller, the story itself is important and should start a conversation about the safety of women in the online space and men’s accessibility to them. If you enjoy mystery thrillers, then this one will be right up your alley and it may even surprise you.