Thoughts on Film "Harry Brown"
Well I was told that Michael Caine's latest film, a low budget British crime thriller, was basically the UK version of Gran Torino. I had the opportunity to watch it at Dreamfilm service. There are indeed a good few similarities between the two, no more so than in the basic premise of an elderly gentleman who can't take the violent youth gangs any longer. However Harry Brown is really very different to Clint Eastwood's enjoyable, if over rated, story of vigilantism in pretty much every other aspect.
Caine plays a widower living in a grimy old high rise flat who is continually dismayed by the extremely violent gang culture that is prevalent about the area. When his friend is murdered he can take no more and, utilising his long suppressed military training, seeks justice the Old Testament way
Harry Brown is not, however, a Death Wish style picture. It's very slow and surprisingly gritty and it only takes moments to make you consider how wonderful your life, your neighbourhood and, especially, your neighbours are when seen in contrast with those of the titular character. Director Daniel Barber's pacing is extremely slow giving Caine the opportunity to shine as the lonely old man who has nothing left to live for. The cinematography too is noteworthy, sitting somewhere along the David Fincher 'Seven' style of gloom and fluorescent bulbs and the very sparse musical scoring makes the gun bangs consistently loud and shocking.
Yeah it's bordering on fascist in its political take on how society should deal with her failures and, though very, very depressing, I can't help feel Harry Brown is a marvellous work of very British film making. It's a low budget pleasure and takes a normally glamorous genre and shows it as bloody, believable and most of all unpleasant.
Harry Brown (starring Michael Caine) is a film about an ex-marines pensioner who takes revenge on a gang of youths for his friend's murder, killing them off one by one. It's pretty dark and very sad. Set on a council estate somewhere in England, Michael Caine is a widower who spends his days playing chess with his friend Len. Len is terrified of the gangs on the estate and when Len is murdered, the police open an investigation but don't really do anything. Michael Caine's character takes matters into his own hands. The film is lottery funded, the acting is good, sometimes brilliant and over all although the film has a very sad and thought provoking message, I
really enjoyed it.