After experiencing Closed Circuit, it is easy to see it is from the same people that bought us Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The Eric Bana-starring film is so rich with plot and ever-building dramatic tension that it requires much from its audience. That is a very good thing. After a summer of lighter fare it's nice to have something to sink our collective teeth into
On the outside, and even hinted at in the Closed Circuit trailer, the film could appear as a purely terrorist on trial drama. Instead, it is a layered thriller that puts its focus on how we prosecute those who wish to do us harm. And how do we do so with one eye on proper justice and another on maintaining a perceived sense of national security?
We meet Bana who is a single father and veteran of a particularly nasty divorce. He has just been tapped to serve as barrister for the only person charged with involvement in a London market terrorist attack that claimed hundreds of lives. Yet, there are extenuating circumstances that severely complicate his ability to do his job.
The person he is replacing committed suicide after six months on the case... mysteriously. That nasty divorce is because of an affair he had with the person who he is working with on this high profile case -- Rebecca Hall's Claudia Simmons Howe, and more on her in a minute. The final hurdle is the fact that Bana and Hall's lawyers are not allowed to see all the evidence in the case due to those aforementioned national security issues.
As this is set in London, their system of justice is a little different, but not by much. The themes, legally and culturally, cross the pond easily. In fact, many hit quite close to home as Guantanamo still sits open and our enemies of the state are subject to secret military tribunals.
Bana, as always, is outstanding. His command of the character and the complexities of the story permeates every frame. And his banter with Hall is electric and their repartee adds much to the weight of the film. Hall continues her stellar work that began for audiences when we first became aware of her in The Prestige. Closed Circuit could not be the anvil of morality tales that it is without its two stars. And don't get us started on the always excellent work turned in by supporting players Jim Broadbent and Cirian Hinds.
Toss in the fact that it is too a thriller of the highest order with the greatest of weight, and our Closed Circuit review can report that you'd be hard-pressed to find a more relevant film out there currently.
Where Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy took us on a thrilling journey into our last real "war," Closed Circuit brings the battle home that we are currently fighting and powerfully smacks the audience's face with its portrayal of justice, circa 2013.