The Brave Ones review: Great premise but lousy execution of characters

The Brave Ones follows the story of a descendant of a powerful bloodline who is forced to defend herself and those she loves while discovering an unsettling truth about herself. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Ntsiki, a young girl from the village of Ilanga, realizes she has superpowers because she is a descendant of a powerful and magical bloodline known as The Brave One, a divine Goddess tied to the Tree of Life.

Meanwhile, Ntsiki’s sister, Fenuka, tries to protect the land from urban development. However, she is murdered by hired assassins for protesting against the development of a casino.

Luthando, the casino developer who intends to evict everyone in Ilanga, comes across magical bracelets that were discovered during one of the digs. Ayanda and Luthando’s son, Lindani is sick, and only The Brave One’s blood can save him.

Ayanda steals the ancient Brave One’s bracelets in order to save her dying son and prepares to do the unthinkable, which leads her to seek help from an estranged family member.

The fate of llanga is in the hands of Ntsiki, who finally realizes her true nature as the Brave One when the Tree of Life is being destroyed by urban development.

Performances

Sthandile Nkosi plays Ntsiki, the main character, and she is essentially functional in this part. She plays a decent character with an intriguing past that makes her more interesting than everyone else on the show.

Nomalanga Nkosi, who plays Ayanda, is superbly cast as the ideal mother and a powerful woman who will go to any length to save her child.

A couple of actors, including Bonko Khoza as Nkosi and Tony Kgoroge as Luthando, struggle to sell their characters and dialogue.

Gontse Ntshegang, who plays the antagonist Nosisa, offers the series’ best performance. Her acting is intense, and she maintains her fiery personality throughout the series.

Positives

Since there aren’t many tales about mythological African beings or their divine power, The Brave Ones offers a fresh concept to the audience. As a result, it draws attention with its fresh narrative.

In general, scenes involving magic are skillfully done, understated but realistic enough to add authenticity. It transports you to a different world.

Both the main protagonist and the antagonist are female, and we witness their conflict as they battle to achieve their goals.

The series delivers a vibrant balance of characters, language, and traditional rituals while staying true to South African culture.

Negatives

The series begins with a well-developed narrative and good intentions. However, at some point in the middle, the show starts to drag, and by the end, the magic element isn’t really highlighted.

The Brave Ones does a good job of distinguishing itself as a South African folktale, but it lacks the necessary conviction and compelling story to excite a viewer as a fantasy series.

The writing is cringe-worthy at times. Time flies by, and the bond between the leads feels forced and unnatural.

The character’s depths aren’t fully explored, and Ntsiki’s past is also oddly constructed. After finishing the season, you don’t get the impression that anything significant happened in terms of their character development.

Verdict

You can enjoy the majority of episodes without getting distracted because of the perfectly balanced theme and storyline. The Brave Ones has a solid foundation in South African folklore, but it falls short when it comes to character growth.

The Brave Ones
The Brave Ones review: Great premise but lousy execution of characters 1

Director: Akin Omotoso

Date Created: 2022-09-16 12:30

Editor's Rating:
3

Also Read: The Brave Ones ending explained: Does Ntsiki avenge her sister’s death?