Harry Brown is the title of the film debut of british director Daniel Barber. Presented at the 2009 Toronto International FilmFestival and released last 13th November in the UK, it tells the story of a pensioner ex-marine living in a desolate council estate in London and his journey in the bad, depressing and violent world of drugs, streets gangs in the suburbs of a modern Britain. After his unique friend is murdered by a bunch of yobs, and after the inefficiency of the police in punishing the culprits, Brown decides to act as executioner and avenge his friend’s murder.
He comes out as hero in accomplishing his mission of cleaning up streets from its dirt.
Unpeccably played by Michael Caine who shines again in this British independent cinema performance, Harry Brown is certainly a well-made film and a good thriller but incredibly violent and hard to digest in its representation of an unconfortable side of british society, realistic because as Barber declared in one of his recent interviews, this reality can be confirmed by police officers operating in these areas of London.
Not only the subject but even the style is realistic as is evident already in the opening sequence which – shot using a mobile phone camera held by a lad spending his time by riding around a public park on a motorbike shooting at passers-by – is nevertheless perfectly created and is only the start.