There is a rising flow of supernatural and fantasy shows on OTT platforms. From the west to the south and the east, almost every country is trying to throw novel ideas. Some of the recent ones include Dahan: Rakan ka Rahasya, The Imperfects, Brahmastra, and The Girl in the Mirror.
A new show from South Africa, The Brave Ones, is now streaming on Netflix. It falls in the genre of fantasy and supernatural ideas. Moreover, the series promises to be thrilling and emotionally provocative.
The Brave Ones is six episodes long, translating into just under four hours. My review of the latest South African show on Netflix will help you make a wise decision.
The Brave Ones Review Summary
Based on a startling concept, The Brave Ones treads on a dicey path from the very beginning. The idea is failed by poor writing as the show ends up on the wrong side of the table.
Keep reading my The Brave Ones review to learn about the pluses and minuses of the series.
The Brave Ones Synopsis
Struggling with monetary issues, Ntsiki is faced with the gruesome murder of her sister. She decides to take revenge; however, a supernatural world arising out of the tree of life awaits her.
Created by Akin Omotoso, Robbie Thorpe, Portia Gumede, and Steven Pillemer, The Brave Ones stars Sthandile Nkosi (Ntsiki), Nomalanga Nkosi (Ayanda), Bonko Khoza (Nkosi), Tony Kgoroge (Luthando), and Zamani Mbatha (Siya), among others in lead roles.
What Works for The Brave Ones?
The show is based on an original idea by Akin Omotoso, and I have always been a staunch proponent of genuine stories. The Brave Ones carves a tale incorporating elements like a Tree of Life, The Brave Ones, The Wise Ones, etc. It feels intriguing to watch regardless of the execution.
Many Sci-Fi shows revolve around two groups from different worlds, one of which is good and the other bad. What The Brave Ones does differently is it doesn’t exquisitely mention the intentions of the two sides. Instead, the show tries to find villains in the real world.
Music in the background of The Brave Ones is well placed to match the onscreen sequences. If not the story, the heavily pitched sound will keep you engrossed to some extent. Fantasy ideas need to allure the viewer in some or the other way, and the makers are well aware of it.
Therefore, you’ll find most of them creating build-ups using the background score than the scene itself, which is the case with The Brave Ones.
Although there are not many visually striking scenes in The Brave Ones, the show aces all the VFX it uses. The video editing is seamless, and the superficial aspects are well taken care of by the makers. However, I wish they had presented more of the optical effects to offer a supreme watching experience.
Sthandile Nkosi plays Ntsiki and has a burdensome time in The Brave Ones. She mostly has a lot of things to deal with, ranging from financial issues to relationship hurdles. However, the biggest task for Ntsiki is when she has to save her community from a brewing danger. What starts as a spirited performance gradually becomes intense and fierce, and Sthandile must be appreciated for this.
Nomalanga Nkosi, as Ayanda, is emotionally fragile. The actress convincingly shows you the journey of a helpless woman, and The Brave Ones gives her the chance to be overly sensitive.
Bonko Khoza portrays Nkosi in The Brave Ones. In the early stages, you would see him as a humorous guy who loves to crack jokes. But as the story progresses, Bonko shows you the other side of his acting skills.
Tony Kgoroge as Luthando gives effect to an impactful performance. His character is shady, but the positive demeanor of Tony adds a touch of affability to the scenes he is part of.
Zamani Mbatha flares as Siya in The Brave Ones. He is a pat of calmness in a show that’s primarily loud and intense. The actor successfully restrains himself and includes fright in his charismatic aura.
What Doesn’t Work for The Brave Ones?
I have watched the English dubbed version of The Brave Ones, and the dialogues were not impactful. The use of words like “Father,” “Friend,” etc., seemed off to me. It didn’t look naturally poised with the modern world.
Calling your friend by their name is something most of us do. Why would you call a friend “friend” while talking to them? It doesn’t make sense. Also, using “Father” instead of Dad or Papa seemed odd. Another African word for Father would have also worked to give a cultural color to the show.
Moreover, several other dialogues in the series were too basic and without the much-needed depth.
Sometimes, The Brave Ones takes a convenient path to simply suit the plot. It twists things to extreme lengths, thereby losing credibility. Why not let the script be naturally relatable? With a superb idea, the show could have been brilliant, but poor writing takes away the pleasure.
What begins as a quest to save the world or community ends up being a personal battle. Several elements in The Brave Ones are doused before they reach their cinematic crescendo. There should have been a battle to preserve the sanctity of the original idea. However, the infusion of personal bailouts destroys the impact of the good versus bad debate.
Initially, there are some scenes in The Brave Ones that lack finesse. The transmission of screenplays feels half-hearted when the makers fail to maintain technical aspects.
In one scene, you would notice things happening under broad daylight, while in the very next one, with a shift in the clip, you will find a night sequence being played. Then again, the switch happens to daylight.
It is particularly noticeable in the first episode.
Given its short duration and attractive concept, you can watch The Brave Ones. However, don’t expect a great story to ameliorate the idea. If you care for perfection, it is best to avoid the series.