Saturday, 10 April 2010

Harry Brown

Harry Brown is a typical British Film, looking like a glorified TV special it is a surprise to see someone of the stature of Michael Caine in the starring role. What, however, is even more surprising is that the film is damn good.

Take Death Wish and stir in a little bit of the UK today, add a few pensioners and hoodies. Sprinkle liberally with believable situations and dialogue. Cook for 1 hr and 30 mins. Enjoy.vlcsnap-00092

Harry Brown follows the simple tale of a pensioner turned vigilante after he sees his environment degrade, his friend scared for his very life. It reminds us that the wrinkled old coffin dodgers fouling up our welfare system and taking the younguns “benefits” have lived a life and are people in themselves. It is a very real social comment on the UK where the elderly are simply an embarrassment to be forgotten. Harry role as a vigilante is all too believable, he isn't superman. Harry is frail and well past his prime. He is still a step above the braying youth destroying his estate.

The film is not without its flaws. Its sound mixing, while making very effective use of LOUD bangs does this by juxtaposing very quiet areas. I literally jumped out of my skin at points as the volume varied so intensely. It also falters towards the climax, turning the story in a way I couldn’t fully accept. The biggest flaw of course is also the biggest triumph. The sets and design absolutely scream UK housing estate. Not a pretty view but a real one.vlcsnap-00084

There are those that ask if the depictions here are realistic. I would say that they are fully in the extreme end of the spectrum. UK street thugs don't tend to have such access to weapons (despite what the Mail would have you believe) hence the real status boost of showing off “a piece”. The riot depicted however is all too real and has happened many times in the past. The very prevalence of guns in the earlier scenes detract from the later riot. Why is nobody shot?

A final mention goes to Mr Caine who, while being a great favourite of mine, has never been a particularly good actor. He can do LOUD and he can do quiet. I can honestly say Harry Brown is the best performance I have ever seen him turn in, he perfoms with great skill and pathos and has hit the height of his talent. Truly excellent work.vlcsnap-00086well recommended.

Paul out…

Web Statistics