In June of 2013 a fire in a small rural town outside Prescott, Arizona took the lives of 19 experienced firefighters, a group known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The film Only the Brave, attempts to tell the story of these heroes and is an honorable commemoration through which the director Joseph Kosinski succeeds in helping his audience better understand the Hotshots bravery and brotherhood.
Expecting a right-to-the-action approach, the film direction turned out to be more character intensive. It brought the audience along on a journey as these men fought to be recognized and federally certified as the Hotshot crew they will be forever known as. Josh Brolin plays the team supervisor, Eric Marsh. His commanding on-screen presence is something that gives you confidence in him and his team until the very end.
The film begins with Brendan Mcdonough, played by Miles Teller, trying to straighten his life out by trying out for an open position on the team, Marsh gives him a shot when everybody else thinks otherwise, creating a underdog them which Teller plays to a tee. Teller and Brolin work well together to bring home the true feeling of camaraderie within the job. Jennifer Connelly plays Eric’s wife, Amanda Marsh. The chemistry between Brolin and Connelly will pull on your heart strings, and their roller coaster of a relationship really make you question how hard it is, not only for the firefighters, but their families.
The cinematography brings this all to life, capturing the small town feel among the vastness of wild land that the firefighters would refer to as fuel. From warm-lit close ups to the incredible aerial footage this film is top notch quality.
Overall, Only the Brave is much more than just a story about the incident that took the lives of 19 heroes, it’s an impressive tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The film’s director Kosinski creates a storyline that Brolin, Teller and the other actors bring to life, leaving you attached to the unfortunate end.