This film addresses the very present-day issues that are violent behaviour and injustice in our allegedly civilised nation. Sir Michael Caine plays a retired Royal Marine living in "The Elephant and Castle" district of South London. To some degree Gran Torino will spring to mind as a similar film, but there all similarities will end as the Clint Eastwood film confronts the issue from the perspective of racism, while the realism of Harry Brown cannot but make us aware of our flawed individualistic society.
The casting is wonderful and the thugs that petrify the local community are utterly believable. But from start to finish this is Caine's movie. He plays his part with enormous suffering. We feel genuinely sorry for him as, his wife and, then, his only best mate Leonard Attwoll dies leaving him quietly tormented and then incredibly angry as he learns that his best friend's death was contemptuously filmed on a mobile phone to the complement of inconsiderate laughter.
The brutality of this movie is scorching and really appalling at times. The riot scene is totally believable, which is difficult to achieve on a fairly low budget film but positively hits the right chords. It plays a significant role in undermining the effectiveness of the police and presenting them as the ineffective and uncaring force that director, Daniel Barber was keen to highlight.
On top of this, living in a city of chaos, drugs, juvenile and capital crime, Harry is visited by the police informing him of Leonard Attwoll's murder and that the likelihood of bringing anyone to trial was next to implausible.
Filled with fear, rage and despair Harry finds himself filling his anger with a quest for vengeance, and decides to keep track of the street gangs by posing as a businessman trading in illegal guns.
This story depicts the critical environment in which the unlucky few attempt to survive the anger, the fear and the injustice, which predictably feed the criminal minds creating anarchy and pillaging our human race. This film is not only worthy of an Oscar, but most importantly, worth your attention. If you enjoy high-quality cinema and an idealistic debate, then you will most definitively appreciate this genuine perspective on humanity!