Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DVD--Harry Brown

or: UK's Gran Torino.

One word to sum it up: Gritty.

There were some reservations to be had with Harry Brown. It had a very similar storyline to Clint Eastwood's instant classic Gran Torino: an aged pensioner taking on the baddies. While that comparison certainly isn't wrong, Harry Brown is way more intense than Gran Torino. Plus, it's great to see Sir Michael Caine kick some ass again. Like, he kicks some serious ass here, and it's lovely to see those thugs go down...even if it wasn't a very nice movie.

In England, retired marine Harry Brown (Michael Caine) spends his lonely life between the hospital, where his beloved wife Kath is terminally ill, and playing chess with his only friend Leonard Attwell in the Barge pub owned by Sid Rourke. After the death of Kath, Len tells his grieving friend that the local gang is harassing him and he is carrying an old bayonet for self-defense; the widower suggests him to go to the police. When Len is beaten to death in an underground passage, Inspector Alice Frampton (Emily Mortimer) and her partner Sergeant Terry Hicock are sent to investigate. They pay Harry a visit but don't have good news; the police have not found any other evidence, other than the bayonet, in order to arrest the hoodlums. This mean that should the case go to trial the gang would claim self-defense. Harry Brown sees that justice will not be granted and decides to take matters into his own hands.

To put it straight: I loved Harry Brown. Sure, it wouldn't have been much a film if Michael Caine wasn't in the titular lead role. He exudes this weird kind of don't-mess-with-me attitude, but he seems to cover that up with the normal helpless-old-guy exterior. His performance is about as heart-breaking as it is scary. Michael cries, you feel like crying. Michael kills, you feel just about the same as him. Yeah, he's still got it. Trust me, there's more to him than being the confidante in every Nolan film.

On one layer of this film, it's an observation of the things that happens in the dodgy parts of England. Once you get to another layer, it throws you right into what really happens within those gangs. Sometimes it feels like you have seen too much, but once you see Caine making things right (in his own little way), it makes what he is doing all the more special. The film loudly ticks over to it's grand finale, which sends shockwaves through to the core...I don't think I've ever been so on edge in my life while watching that bit. Those sensitive to violence will find this a bit too shocking, as it gets really close to home with it's depiction of gangs. However, give Harry Brown a go. It certainly isn't the best film ever made, but if one is searching for a thought provoking piece filled with all the drama, action and moral dilemmas, then Harry Brown is a film which one would feel fulfilled by.

THE VERDICT: Harry Brown boasts an exceptional performance from Michael Caine, which helps level out all the violence that comes with it.



  1. Good review =) I liked Harry Brown, but for me Gran Torino was just that little bit better. Caine is awesome though.

  2. Thanks! I agree, Gran Torino was a little bit better. Go Michael Caine, though!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


Related Posts with Thumbnails