D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
Harry Brown, 2009.
Directed by Daniel Barber.
Starring Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Ben Drew, Charlie Creed-Miles, David Bradley, Jack O’Connell and Liam Cunningham.
Harry Brown is the directorial debut of Daniel Barber and sees Michael Caine as the aging ex-Royal Marine Harry Brown, who seeks revenge on the yobs who run his estate and have had a hand in the death of his only friend.
When Brown loses his wife to illness he is left without much in his life and finds comfort in his friendship with fellow widower Len (David Bradley). Both disgusted by the way in which their Elephant and Castle estate has been in decline of late, they believe something should be done, but are too old to make a difference. When a fire is pushed through Len’s front door he has had enough of the local kids and decides to confront them with a knife, but the kids soon deal with the frightened old man and the stab him with his own knife.
Harry is infuriated when questioned by the local police officer in charge of the case, Detective Inspector Alice Frampton (Mortimer), when she suggests Len brought this on himself by confronting the youths. As Noel Winters (Plan B) and his crew rule their business without fear, Harry decides someone needs to bring justice to the estate and sets about acquiring a gun and putting everyone to the sword.
Harry Brown is a stylish revenge film that sees the vicious anti-hero as an old and seemingly harmless man making his journey so much better. Plan B is also pretty good in his first movie role and brings a very authentic feel to the nasty ring leader of the estate thugs. Barber’s efforts are also top notch for his first feature outing as he shows a simplistic and constrained approach to direction and lets the actors work within the space created rather than try and add any Hollywood chases or camera sequences to add thrills. The result is a finely worked piece of cinema.
Harry Brown is a film you must see before you die as it brings together old and new, with Caine proving he’s still got what it takes as well as Plan B and Daniel Barber announcing their own arrivals into the film world.