Movie Review: Only the Brave

THE film is based on a heroic yet tragic ­real-life incident that took place during a wildfire at ­Yarnell Hill in the US state of Arizona in 2013, where 19 firefighters ­perished.

The story is all the more inspiring ­because of how ordinary and ­relateable these men were.

The film begins with a forest on fire and a bear ablaze running through it. Turns out it is a dream that Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin), the superintendent of a municipal firefighting team, is having.

The bear on fire also re-appears several times in the movie, like an omen of what is to come.

Eric's pet peeve is that his team of skilled and dedicated firefighters is considered second tier, and even looked down upon by more elite firefighting units.

Because of this, Eric is determined to make his men first tier or, as they call it, achieve 'hotshot' status.

With some help from old fire chief Duane Steinbrink (Jeff Bridges), Eric gets the chance to prove not only his leadership skills, but also the capability of his men in the field.

Within months, the men get their cherished 'hotshot' status, and their unit is now called the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

They soon put out one big fire after another, finally earning the respect from other elite groups.

As the story heads towards its inevitable end, we learn how the team is held together by the special bonds they have with each other and those they love.

Former drug-addict Brendan (Miles Teller) initially faces scorn from Chris (Taylor Kitsch) due to his past but both men eventually bond and become best of friends.

We also get a glimpse of the lives of other men, such as Eric's loyal second-in-command Jesse (James Badge Dale), who is a devoted husband and father.

Eric's conflicts with his wife Amanda (Jennifer Connelly) is also explored, in a manner that viewers can somehow relate to.

You will be moved by this movie. The filmmakers didn't go overboard with the action scenes or the melodrama, as other films of this sort tend to do.

The end credits which feature the real men who were part of Granite Mountain Hotshots was also a great way to pay tribute to them. This film is highly recommended.