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.
Set in 1980s seaside England, this is the story of Edward, an unusual ten year old boy growing up in an old people's home run by his parents. Whilst his mother struggles to keep the family ... See full summary »
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
Michael Caine saw a lot of himself in the character of Harry Brown, e.g. they're both combat veterans (Harry is a Marine who served in Northern Ireland, Caine served in the British Army during the Korean war), and Caine lived in the same area that Brown does. It was things like these that drew him to the film. See more »
Although supposedly set in south London, most of the graffiti on the estate has been lifted straight from the New York underground scene by the movies art department, with internationally recognized American Graffiti artists such as 'Kez' and 'Skuf' and 'YKK crew' adorning the supposedly British sink estate. See more »
Do you want it, fella, huh?
Because you wanted this yesterday, brother. You wanna do this shit?
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The pre main-credit sequence, shot to resemble mobile-phone footage, had the desired effect: the sense of shock from the capacity audience was palpable. The film then slows down to show the reality of Harry Brown's life as a pensioner on a South London high-rise estate . Showing his routine of walking to the hospital to visit his very ill wife, having to walk a long way round to avoid confrontation with an unseen group of youths who use an underpass as their base and his meetings with his old friend and chess partner Lenny in the estate pub. There aren't many other people walking about the estate, even in daylight, out of fear of the gun-carrying teenage gangs.
Michael Caine's performance as Harry Brown is wonderful. His timing is spot-on. Credit to director Daniel Barber for allowing him space to breathe and not be hurried. In fact the overall pacing is excellent. There is good use of the soundtrack with the lack of intrusive music adding to the reality feel of the film. The night scenes are beautifully lit as well with a good balance between just enough to see what's going on and making the lighting realistic: the night scene in the pub with the lights out, for instance.
This film has been compared to 'Death Wish' and 'Gran Torino', but those films haven't got this film's bleak, realistic look at how life is in these areas. There always remains a sense of watching a film, of entertainment, of it being 'Hollywood'. This is a lot more down to earth. This film has more in common with Mike Leigh's TV drama 'Meantime' and with 'Gomorra'.
This isn't an easy 'first-date' film but it is a superior Brit film, one of the best for many years. I'm glad to see that it has got some marketing push behind it and has generated column inches talking about the subject of these 'no-go' areas and society in general.
Shocking and brilliant.
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