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Drama - Gangland

Harry Brown (2009)


Duration 1h 43m Rating (UK) 18
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Daniel Barber
Writers/Script Gary Young
Starring Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, David Bradley, iain Glen, Jack O’Connell, Liam Cunningham,

Elevator Pitch: Harry Brown is a pensioner living in a tower block in East London. He has a terminally ill wife in hospital and his daughter hd died in youth. He plays chess with his friend Len in the pub, who is being terrorised  by a gang of young men who congregate at an underpass close to their block, and Harry advised him to contact the police, but Len is eventually killed. When the police visit Harry they say that even though they know who did it nothing can be done due to lack of evidence, so Harry decides to take things into his own hands. He is an ex-marine so he has skills.

Content: Harry visits his dying wife and plays chess with Len in the pub. He is unable to tke the short cut to the hospital due to the gang in the underpass. There is a disturbing scene in a squat which has been converted into a marijuara farm involving a young woman in a drug induced coma who is also being featured on a sex tape. Harry rescues the girl, shooting the men involved. There are many scenes of violence of the same sort which are disturbing and some riots involving fire bombs and police in riot gear.

A View: This is a disturbing film, at least in part because the terrorising of OAPs in tower blocks is unfortunately not uncommon. I admit to being a bit of a country boy so my actual knowledge of London gang culture is limited, but surely there would not have been quite as many hand guns in general currency as featured in the film. It did not cost much which was fortunate because it did not make much money either, maybe due to lack of publicity since by many modern standards it would have been a draw for audiences. Now on the internet it is worth watching, if this short review did not put you off.

Additional Info: I heard Michael Caine promoting this film on the radio back when it was released, and he said he was attracted to the part because he had been brought up on an estate not disimilar from the one in the film.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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