Friday, 27 September 2013


I hope nobody reading this is expecting objectivity. Actually, I lie - I don't hope, because I don't care either way. Still, you're not going to get it. I'll forgive a melodramatic teen romance / abstinence commercial very little, but I'll forgive a plot-heavy legal thriller very much. Closed Circuit is a plot-heavy legal thriller, so it starts life, in my head, with four stars already on the table. Eric Bana plays the defence lawyer for a suspected terrorist accused of participating in a plot that killed 120 people in London; Rebecca Hall plays his special advocate. Closed Circuit follows them as they individually dig for details that could help their client's case, while under apparently unrelenting surveillance. They're being managed, so it's inevitably going to take a major feat of legal, or personal, manoeuvering to break the closed circuit in which they have unfortunately found themselves. I just love films like these, with narratives that are complex yet succinctly communicated, only fleetingly, if at all, abandoning head for heart, yet establishing an atmosphere of paranoia and tension pretty much out of existing, simply. And if you see half of this coming, the other half is hot on its heels to sneak up and surprise you, just as you settled into complacency. There are blemishes galore - John Crowley directs with a desperate dearth of imagination and a remarkable blindness to the requirements of the script, Eric Bana is a flimsy lead with a ropey accent, and the crude ending is nauseatingly optimistic - but, like I said, I'll forgive a plot-heavy legal thriller very much. And I do. So Closed Circuit couldn't quite keep all four of its stars on the table. And what?