Sunday, 30 October 2011

Harry Brown

I saw Harry Brown in the Theatre two years ago and cannot understand why there is no separate review on file. Michael Caine plays an aging former decorated soldier attempting to live quietly on an estate in London where the quick way to the pub by a canal is through an underpass which has been taken over by drug pushers and a teenage terror gang. He therefore walks the distance required to a crossing on an exceptional busy main road. At the pub he plays chess with Leonard (the splendid David Bradley or visits his wife who his seriously ill in hospital and dies. At the funeral Leonard admits that he is being terrorised by some youths on the estate that have put stuff through his letter box and written graffiti on his outside walls. He shows Harry a military bayonet he keeps with him for protection. Harry says he should leave the matter in the hands of the police but Leonard explains he has reported before but this has only made the situation worse.

The following day a senior police woman, who has elected to work on the estate where she originated, calls with a young constable to advise Harry that his friend has been killed in the underpass. Harry declines to say anything about the conversation the previous day because the man has been stabbed with a bayonet. Later the Police advise Harry that because the Bayonet belonged to Leonard the charge is likely to manslaughter at the most because of self defence.

Harry makes inquiries and finds out that local drug pusher also sells firearms. He visits and finds that the two have an office at the back on the building where they are growing pot on an industrial scale. Here he finds a teenage girl in a serious condition from a drug overdose. She is ignored and he is offered to have sex with her alongside the gun purchase. She is being overdosed so she is pliable for pornographic films. Harry kills to the young men and sets fire to the premises after which he gets the girl out and takes to her hospital.

The local commander orders the senior police woman to drop her inquires about the death of the pensioner and concentrate on action to stop what appears to be an outbreak of gang land killings related to drug use. Harry conducts his own inquiries and through one of the girl friends in the gang tracks down a young man who he threatens to kneecap and who reveals a camera video of what happened to his friend. Just as he about to go for the gang leader Harry collapses from an emphysema attack and is taken to hospital where he is interviewed by the police woman who notes there is cordite on Harry’s clothing. Harry then discharges himself from hospital.

Meanwhile the local commander has ordered a drug bust on the estate and there is major rioting with the throwing of Molotov cocktails and stoning. The senior police woman and her assistant are involved in a car accident and Harry rescues them and takes them to the local pub where it is revealed that the barman is the uncle of the gang leader whose father is in prison. The uncle has been hiding the boy in the pub. Harry has another bout of emphysema and loses control and his gun to the barman who brings out the son with a view to having to kill three witnesses. The young constable is killed by Sid who orders his nephew to kill the police woman but fortunately she has got a message out. So after Harry recovers sufficiently to shoot Noel as he is strangling the police woman, Harry is shot by the barman who is in turn shot by the back up squad who arrive just in time.

At the subsequent media conference the local commander announces that the Police woman and her dead colleague are to receive bravery awards and dismisses speculation about the involvement of vigilantism. In the final scene Harry decides to use the underpass where there is no presence of teenagers but he has lost his wife and his only friend and committed murder.

No comments:

Post a Comment