Directed (and starring) Halle Berry, Bruised is a heart-wrenching piece written by Michelle Rosenfarb. Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) had been an undefeated MMA fighter in the UFC. When her final fight went downhill fast, Jackie ran, hid, and never turned back. Completely down on her luck even years later, Jackie is broke, out of work, and without purpose. She has a less than desirable relationship with her boyfriend, Desi (Adan Canto), who struggles with his own demons. When things couldn’t get worse, Jackie’s past comes back to haunt her in the form of her 6 year old son, Manny, whom she gave up years earlier. Jackie was having a hard enough time taking care of her own responsibilities so the idea of taking care of a child as well was the shock of a lifetime.
I have a lot of respect for the female characters in this film. Jackie is not your typical strong heroine but you cannot help but have respect for all that she’s been through in her past and how it affects her in the present day. It was fascinating to watch her attempt to navigate bonding with her son when she is so scarred from what happened to her as a child.
Bruised is full of complex relationships, whether it be mother and daughter, mother and son, trainer and trainee, or partners. Nothing is one dimensional in this film and I appreciated its willingness to be real.
Bruised premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.