Closed Circuit is a thoroughly absorbing and tense British thriller that weaves drama, law and the grim fallout of a terrorist attack. Someone must be seen to take the blame, but is the suspect innocent, a double agent, or a puppet of MI5?
Part of the enjoyment of the film is the surprises: who gets to live or die, and just how many layers of deception and compromise can be uncovered? We clearly know that not everyone is as they seem, but just how willing are they to keep secrets? No spoilers here, but clearly, political and secret service agendas do not always match the truth.
Eric Bana is sympathetic and compelling as defence lawyer Martin Rose, already jaded with the system. He has to work on the case with associate and ex-lover Claudia Simmons-Howe played by Rebecca Hall, and together, they uncover shocking evidence that leads them into mortal danger. Their sour relationship is quite compelling onscreen – as viewers we have to care about them immediately, and we do.
The film is intelligent, fast-paced and enjoyable – like watching a condensed series of Spooks. It doesn’t overplay the closed-circuit TV idea, nor does the relationship between the two leads become soppy. This restraint works really well, allowing the audience to know there is a lot at stake, without overplaying effects.
Despite the subject matter, Closed Circuit is not quite as serious as it seems to consider itself, and skirts around some clichés, but it’s an enjoyable ride with London scenes looking great onscreen.
A brilliant supporting cast gives Jim Broadbent, Ciårán Hinds and Anne-Marie Duff among others the chance to contribute sterling performances. We never really see behind the scenes of those with real power, but we get a chilling glance at those who sanction death for the sake of the system.
Closed circuit is released nationwide on 25th October 2013.
Watch the trailer for Closed Circuit here: