Netflix Now: Halle's Directorial Debut, Bruised Hits The Mark

images courtesy Netflix

Jackie Justice is a famed and prolific female fighter in the ultimate fighting arena.  Hit hard both as a result of her chosen profession and her life, Bruised follows her journey to reclaim her former glory. Academy Award winner Halle Berry, known for her roles as Leticia in Monster’s Ball and Storm in the X-Men films, marks her directorial debut with the Netflix original.

After a chance re-encounter with her former boyfriend/manager, she gets thrusted back into the limelight when a fight promoter catches wind of what she’s capable of. Despite having a name akin to a superhero, Berry’s portrayal is fraught with vulnerability. She stumbles on her road to recovery and struggles to rekindle relationships she’s lost. 

For a debut, Halle deftly has the action shot with gripping realism. She pulls really powerful performances from the cast; Two standouts that really made an impact were the intriguing nuances of Sheila Atim and the expressiveness of rising star Danny Boyd Jr. 

The music and all-female soundtrack deserves equal praise with the acting talent attached to this project as it elevates the atmosphere. They really set the stage for the heavy hitting fights and also the more quieter, intimate moments. 

In a Q&A moderated by H.E.R, one of the featured artists heard in the film, Berry stated the lead role of Jackie Justice was initially written as a “25 year-old Irish, Catholic girl”. It was after she became attached to the film that she worked on retooling the script to tell a more inclusive story.

In a genre with montages and scenes that can be seen from a mile away, the narrative Berry creates with scribe Michelle Rosenfarb still made for a wholly unique and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a fan of fighting films or family dramas, there’s aspects of both in spades to entertain and hold your interest. 

-Michael Omoruan