Harry Brown : DVD Review

Title: Harry Brown
Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, David Bradley, Ben Drew
Director: Daniel Barber
Writer: Gary Young
Release Date: 22nd March 2010
Format: DVD and BLU-RAY

Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is an elderly widower and ex-serviceman. He’s scared of taking the short cut through the subway near to his house because there is always a group of hoodies and other youths up to no good. He knows that in his younger days he would have given them a seeing to, but now he can only put his faith in the police trying to sort out the local criminals and riff-raff. Of course that’ll never happen and Harry knows it.

But when his best friend, Leonard, is murdered by the same group of thugs, Harry reluctantly sets out to avenge the murder, with his own form of justice.

Michael Caine is simply excellent as Harry Brown and fine support comes from Emily Mortimer as D.I. Alice Frampton, David Bradley as Leonard Attwell and Ben Drew as the thug Noel Winters, who kills Leonard.

Harry Brown is a film that needed to be handled inch-perfectly. Gary Young’s screenplay could easily have been turned into something rather different to what finally turned up on the screen. What we actually get is a bravura performance from Caine and a nicely directed and well realised film. It takes the script to its absolute limit without going over-the-top.

It’d be hard to make a choice for which was the best film between Harry Brown and Gran Torino, they are similar but in vital moments, very different and distinct from one another. They both have excellent actors in the main roles and the both address similar issues, only they go about resolving them in different ways.

And whilst Harry Brown does take proceedings a little further than its American counterpart, it is still a believable and realistic film that, in all honesty, feels about right for today’s Britain, sad though that might be.

Author : Kevin Stanley