A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
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In England, retired Royal Marine Harry Brown 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, then stabbed to death in an underground passage, Inspector Alice Frampton 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. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There are no Hollywood moments in this movie, and that's probably why I love it! Possibly the best movie Michael Caine has ever been a part of.
The director does a truly awesome job of portraying his world with convincing and seedy squalour, almost leaving the viewer feeling soiled by the experience. His characters aren't just overtly filthy scum - they're real and believable scum.
Michael's character shines.
The are no violent rape/murder scenes where his family die at the hands of an outlaw biker gang, no terrorists holding his wife to ransom... just an old boy who has seen too many recent horrors to suffer the indignity of it any more.
From a drunken moment where his old military reflexes kick in with shocking consequence, to the understated twist of a finale, you can't help but feel for this man and see good cause for his actions. He's every bit the tired old serviceman whose plight tugs on every decent fibre until you find yourself snapping along with him.
He's no Rambo, no bullet-dodging arse-kicker on a rampage of revenge, and the action manages to paint well within the lines of plausibility. He ambles into the role with dignity - even if he's moving far too well for someone in his condition (emphazema doesn't just kick in after a ten foot jog - it's not asthma), and the impact of his losses is portrayed with a hopeless sadness that rather makes you want to hug the poor soul than scream "revenge".
I enjoyed this movie rather more than I expected to, and I would highly recommend it. It's neatly understated, with the right blend of pace and action. There's never any risk of failing to 'get it' - the director easily renders the various elements of the story in the light he chooses, making a few select points without hammering them home with a cricket bat; his Police are ineffectual bureaucrats, his protagonist is just an old man, and his scum... well, I feel like I've lived with them all my life.
Oh yeah, I have.
A truly entertaining and captivating film that's quintessentially British. You just *have* to watch it.
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