Director John Crowley’s Closed Circuit is a taut, British political thriller that is definitely a film for our times.
As in this country, the real issue is not that everyone is being watched, but who is doing the watching. As is the case here, as well, government workers forget they are public servants, not masters and believe their vision of state security overrides the well-being of individual citizens. And, as here, these servants are really only interested in keeping their jobs.
Writer Steven Knight’s crisp story concerns the trial of the supposed ring-leader of a suicide bomb squad that explode a truck in London, killing 120 people.
Under the British legal system, the public trial will be preceded by a private hearing at which it will be determined what evidence will be allowed in the public trial so as not to expose any government secrets.
Barrister Martin Rose (Eric Bana) is appointed the terrorist’s lawyer for the public trial after the original lawyer dies and his former lover Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall) is the Special Appointee to represent him in the private hearing.
But, don’t think it’s a courtroom drama. What the lawyers uncover provides plenty of nail-biting action and intrigue as their own lives are jeopardized. And, Cinematographer Adriano Goldman’s use of close-ups drives the tension while, also, taking time-out to provide us with eye-candy by exploring every facial pore of the lovely Rebecca Hall.
I give Closed Circuit a 4+ out of 5.