Based on the novel Brazen Virtue, by Nora Roberts, Brazen is a murder-mystery-thriller from director Monika Mitchell. The movie stars Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, and Colleen Wheeler, and tells the story of a novelist, who investigates the murder of her sister.
In the film, Grace writes mystery novels and has built up a very successful career in her field. But while Grace’s professional life is a hit, her personal life is suddenly rocked when her sister, Kathleen, is murdered in her own home.
As an investigation into her Kathleen’s death takes place, Grace is keen to use her background in mystery writing to help solve her sister’s murder. This includes digging deep into the details of Kathleen’s private life, which shines the spotlight on a secret side career as an adult webcam star.
Is one of Kathleen’s clients responsible for her death or does her webcam career have nothing to do with her murder? Grace teams up with a detective to find out.
Going into a discussion about Brazen, I feel it is important to explain what type of movie this is. This isn’t a big budget, high-profile feature, with an all-star cast; it is a small-scale piece, that plays very much like a TV-movie.
Brazen is the type of film that pops up mid-week on broadcast telly, usually to plug a gap in the schedule. It is a film devoid of bad language, blood and guts, but I should say it does include some mild sexual references.
Essentially it is a standard murder mystery feature, predominantly created for passive consumption. It is the sort of film that acts as a bit of a diversion for 90 minutes, when there’s nothing much going on in your life, and it should be approached accordingly.
There is an audience for this type of movie, and if you enjoy mystery thrillers of this ilk, whereby a writer and a detective team-up to solve a crime, then this picture may find you well. It is competently made, the cast are fine, and those desperate to see Alyssa Milano taking a lead role will be more than happy.
But don’t expect anything special from this film. Brazen is low-budget, middle-of-the-road stuff, that will be largely forgotten as soon as it’s over, and it certainly won’t take audiences anywhere new.
Tonally, it is a bit of an odd picture, in that for the most part it is a cosy, non-offensive film, which occasionally descends into flashes of S&M. This all feels a bit strange when compared to the rest of the movie, but for the most part this is all in-keeping with the story.
It’s not raunchy by any stretch of the imagination, but the shift from sedate murder mystery into shots of Milano in a catsuit are a little jarring. I imagine if this were to play on TV rather than on Netflix, there would be a couple of edits here and there, to ensure certain shots of Alyssa Milano don’t cause anyone’s nan to go into cardiac arrest.
Putting this aside, the film largely plays out as expected, and if you can convince your nan to leave the room when things begin to look a little ‘sexy’, you will avoid any potential medical emergencies. And if she does leave the room during these scenes, she won’t really miss many key plot points either.
I don’t expect Brazen to ever make it to the top of anyone’s list of favourite movies, nor do I expect anyone to recall having seen it in a month’s time, but it is what it is. Those who like this sort of thing will find it par for the course, while those who don’t care for it are best avoiding it all together.
Not the highest praise, but surely not the worst. It is bog-standard stuff, nothing more.
Should you want to watch Brazen, the movie is available to stream on Netflix from today.