To think that Michelle Rosenfarb’s script might have ended up something entirely different had actress Halle Berry not taken the reigns for on feature debut, Bruised, is an interesting bit of history to look up. Berry tracked quite prolifically over the past year as it hit festivals and eventually landed a launch date on Netflix on this, her feature directing debut in which she also stars, and indeed she’s done more than cut her teeth in recent years leading up to this point on both sides of the lens, having trained and documented her progress on social media, and now getting the chance to put her physicality on display for her latest filmmaking milestone.
Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) is a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after the fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter (Shamier Anderson) who promises Jackie a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.) — the son she gave up as an infant — shows up at her doorstep. BRUISED marks the directorial debut of Academy Award winner Halle Berry and also stars Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim, Valentina Shevchenko, and Stephen McKinley Henderson in a triumphant story of a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out.
Bruised will stream in theaters and on Netflix from November 24.