Saturday, September 9, 2017

Harry Brown

Harry Brown is a British movie from 2009 which can be best described as "revenge p*rn". The plot is rather simple. Harry Brown is an elderly gentleman in reduced circumstances which means that he is forced to live in a "bad" part of the city where criminal "youths" fight, deal in drugs, weapons and prostitutes and occasionally commit murder.

Harry's daughter died many years ago and his wife is dying. Besides her, the only person he appears to be attached to in this world, is his old friend Leonard, and he is threatened and harassed by the criminal gang running the neighbourhood. Soon afterwards, while Harry is still mourning the passing away of his wife, the police knock at his door to inform him that Leonard was murdered. Yet, it doesn't take long for the suspects to be freed to roam the streets again, the all too common situation in many Western countries.

Then one night Harry is attacked on his way home from the bar where he was getting plastered the whole evening. However, there is one thing the attacker doesn't know, namely that Harry Brown isn't just some random old guy, he is a retired Royal Marine and he has killed before...

The movie is short, dark and to the point. It succeeds in depicting the social decay of a modern city and the whole atmosphere of hopelessness and degradation, and it doesn't glamourise the criminals like some Hollywood productions are prone to do, but instead shows them as irredeemable scum the only way to deal with which is to eliminate it which makes the film essentially very illiberal.

The main character is fully prepared to unleash his inner savage and to fight fire with fire and cruelty with cruelty; and yet, despite the overall darkness of the film, you get a shot of positive energy when you finished watching it because it makes you believe that if one man decides to stand up and fight, things can change for the better, and the fact that this man is elderly and sick and not some superhero only adds to this feeling.

Speaking of men...another thing which distinguishes Harry Brown from many American films is the way the female police inspector comes across. She can be irritating at times, she kinda sees the light in the end, but the fact is that she reacts and behaves like a woman. She gets scared. She doesn't turn into Rambo in the crucial moment and she doesn't save the day with karate kicks and machine gun fire. She gets rescued by men. This alone will probably make the movie worth seeing for some:)

So if you are into dark European drama, you should definitely watched this film, however, the subject matter and graphic violence make it unsuitable for kids.

Here is the trailer:


  1. Ooh; looks great!

    I saw a great Michael Caine movie recently, a few months back, which I forgot about till I read this post; it was a black comedy rather than a drama, but it too could be described as revenge pr0n, against greedy big banks / corporations, scr--ing over the little guy in their dealings.

    It was ultimately fluff, a feel-good, popcorn movie, but nevertheless entertaining.

  2. He is very great actor, isn't he? Thanks for the tip!

  3. Oh yeah, definitely!

    You're welcome!

  4. I had never heard of this movie till you told us about it. Thank you. Sarah