Indie director Monika Mitchell gives a cerebral makeover to whodunit romantic suspense thriller ‘Brazen.’ The story follows Grace, a celebrated crime fiction writer, who gets plunged into a personal mystery upon visiting her estranged sister. The sister, Kathleen, a divorced school teacher vying for the custody of her son, may have been leading a double life. As Kathleen’s death uncovers scintillating mysteries surrounding her life, Grace takes it upon herself to identify the person behind her sister’s murder.
At the same time, she sparks off a romantic liaison with detective Ed Jennings. Grace lays down an elaborate trap for the killer while putting her own life in danger. Alyssa Milano essays the central role against Sam Page in this cold-blooded thriller. The story seems realistic, and thus, you may wonder how much of it has a basis in reality. Is the serial killer saga ripped from newspaper headlines? Let us find out!
Is Brazen a True Story?
No, ‘Brazen’ is not based on a true story. Although the movie may look like it is taken from the pages of a newspaper, the film’s serial killer has no counterpart in real life. Monika Mitchell directed the movie from a screenplay penned by Suzette Couture, Donald Martin, and Edithe Swensen. Couture is a writer of several television movies, including ‘After the Harvest (2001),’ while Martin’s previous credits include ‘Toto’ and ‘Milton’s Secret.’ Swensen and Milano previously collaborated in the TV show ‘Charmed.’
The screenwriters built the story on Nora Roberts’s bestselling 1988 thriller novel ‘Brazen Virtue,’ which was also the working title of the film adaptation. The novel, the second installation in her ‘DC Detectives’ series following ‘Sacred Sins,’ earned the author a Golden Medallion for Best Suspense in 1989. This movie is not the author’s first screen outing – they go back as far as the 1989 movie ‘Magic Moments,’ an adaptation of the 1983 book of the same name. Several other adaptations followed in the twenty-first century, including a handful from the Lifetime Channel.
As Netflix is picking up more and more text-to-screen ventures, it was only a matter of time before a Nora Roberts bestseller would set foot on the streamer. However, none of Nora’s previous screen adaptations caused as much media uproar as this movie – and the credit goes partly to the off-screen activism of Alyssa Milano. She essays the central role of Grace in the film. Beginning with the 1984 sitcom ‘Who’s the Boss?’ Alyssa went on to deliver dazzling performances in various Television shows and movies.
However, the media also recognizes her as one of the prominent voices of the #MeToo movement, a global crackdown on sexual harassment kickstarted by sexual assault survivor and activist Tarana Burke in 2006 on MySpace. Alyssa Milano’s entry into the campaign coincided with the alleged sexual misconduct cases against Harvey Weinstein. However, Milano’s subsequent endorsement of former US vice president Joe Biden for the presidency in March 2020 aggravated the situation to quite an extent. The controversy stemmed from former White House staff Tara Reade’s sexual misconduct accusations against Joe Biden.
While Milano thoughtfully and empathetically tweeted, “I hear and see you, Tara,” she also did not back down from her support for Biden. Thus, when Milano was cast in the leading role in the movie, several former followers of Roberts took to social media, while one wanted to burn the author’s books. However, despite the hateful banter of her fans, Roberts sided with Milano and defended the casting. The movie may not be truthful, but reality seeps into fiction when we correlate a screen persona with respective stardom.
Read More: Where Was Brazen Filmed?