Yesterday I watched “Harry Brown“. It is a very dramatic crime movie with Michael Caine playing the main character. If I were to describe this film in the shortest possible way, I’d say it is an English version of the American movie “Grand Torino” with Clint Eastwood. It is not the same – the story is different, the circumstances are different, the outcome is different. But they have the same theme – an old man, retired decorated veteran, taking measures in their own hands, after the younger generation going nuts and the rest of the world not paying any attention to it or not being able to control it.
While I really did enjoy “Grand Torino” – only now I realized that I haven’t reviewed it, which I will correct shortly – I think that “Harry Brown” is a better movie on this particular subject. It is more dramatic, it shows the problem better, and it is not as much drag to watch. There is some and much needed action in it too, unlike “Grand Torino”, which is purely a drama movie.
Even though both films seem to be shot on a low budget, at least compared to current Hollywood budgets, neither one of them looks cheap. But this type of movies are not there for their special effects. They illustrate the problems with the society. They make you think. And they also make you enjoy the acting. Excellent acting is the backbone of “Harry Brown”. Each and every character in this film is full and complete. Each and every character is as realistic as it gets. And in case of the young criminals and drug addicts maybe a tiny bit too realistic. Some of the worst scumbags are shown as they are – the point where you think it’s OK to bypass the whole institution of criminal law and head directly to the right and wrong approach.
Overall, a very strong movie which gives both something to think about and something to experience. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5.