Saturday, August 31, 2013

Closed Circuit (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

Closed Circuit

From "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, here is "Closed Circuit" a second thriller  focusing on M-I5 with all the trappings of terrorism and surveillance.  The setting is London and there has just been a truck bomb caught on closed circuit cameras. Lawyer Martin Rose (Eric Bana) is chosen to be the defense for suspect Ilkay Ergodan (Pinar Ögün).

To complicate matters with some romantic pathos, Claudia Simmons-Hough (Rebecca Hall) an old tense flame of Martin's, is also hired on the defense. According to law, the team can not share information between themselves or for that matter, be social. To handle this, the case is split into two sections with Martin handling the public questions while Claudia agrees to handle the closed sessions.

There is some apprehension as we watch the two rendezvous in secret, but the real charge is when we notice that the two are being watched by either a stealthy cabal or an infinite IMAX-eyed group of faceless screens. Eric Bana acts appropriately shadowed, his eyes drawn, his face tight. Rebecca Hall's eyes get wider and wider as she notices a book just not quite leaning the right way on her bookcase. We know what's coming through the slinky shadows and treading music, but espionage aficionados will still jump a bit.

There are some good turns given by the steady Jim Broadbent who gives the most sinister performance in the film (who is all the more creepy though his casual nonchalance) and Ciarán Hinds from the aforementioned "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". Also good is Ergodan's crafty son played by Hasancan Cifci.

While the action is predictable and could use a dose of Hitchcockian happenstance and humor, the darkling silhouetted moments still have some  flavored creatine left over from John Le Carre.

The best moments of "Closed Circuit" remain when we are unsure just who is pursuing whom and the buildings are depicted as glassy domes of  passivity. Under the march of shoes, ties and square slate faces, only the camera shows life, as it records for sterile satellites. A sense of mystery combined with an unending tread of life is always more interesting than identifying the sneaky.

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