REVIEW: CLOSED CIRCUIT
SYNOPSIS: In the international suspense thriller CLOSED CIRCUIT, a high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) on the defense team – testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in
REVIEW: Closed Circuit is, in every sense of the term, turns out to be just another run-of-the-mill thriller elevated, to today’s relevance (the War on Terror subject matter). Directed by John Crowley (who’s 2007 drama “Boy A” proved to be a breakthrough for both him and his star, Andrew Garfield),this latest effort really doesn’t bring a similarly intimate character study, though it does present relevance in a post-9/11, government-conspiracy thriller that is set in London, as opposed to the Big Apple.
Eric Bana (Hanna, 2011), Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3, 2013), Ciarán Hinds (John Carter, 2012), Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, 2012) and Denis Moschitto (Woman in Love, 2011) are all wonderful in their roles; bringing out the best acting one would expect from the predominantly European cast. However, I was thoroughly disappointed with the weird role that Julia Stiles played, coming off of her huge success in Silver Lining Playbook, in 2012. She, in her role, unfortunately did not raise the level of interest one could imagine her bringing to this flick. In my humble opinion this was simply a huge let-down on the writer’s part. They could have done a lot more with her character in the movie.
The convoluted British legal system that this film presents comes under fire here. Whether intentional or not, director Crowley allows us to see the bureaucracy of a system that the Brits call law. Closed Circuit simply shows that the legal system in that country is absolute madness, to be put politely. The legal, overly elaborate rigmarole adds more than just confusion to this screenplay.
Written by Steve Knight, whose previous credits include “Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things,” this latest effort has a gritty, very mature tone and a collection of skilled, but simply drawn-up characters. Furthermore, like the previous film, this new effort is just another variation of “who-dunnit” type of storytelling. The twists and turns are rarely surprising, which puts the burden on director Crowley to allow his lead cast to instill every moment with a feeling of intrigue and curiosity, but somehow they miss the mark. This results in a very predictable plot that is complicated by a heavy overtone of British legal jargon, that is enough to spin the average layman’s head a few times.
Nevertheless, for the most part, Closed Circuit succeeds in limited ways. On one hand, the work presents class and an effectively restrained style. Whilst on the other hand, it loses audiences in depths of British legal jargon. Moreover, the fact that little of it lingers in the memory after the end credits roll is indicative of how generally unremarkable the whole project is. I for one wasn’t overly impressed with the manner in which the subject matter was presented on the big screen and would not recommend it for theater viewing, but more like a mature date night DVD rental. It deserves three out of five stars for quality acting and relevance in subject matter.
By Movi-Man Stan
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