In London there are about 500,000 closed circuit cameras monitoring people's activities. This is a result of the terrorist bombings by the IRA in years past, but they are essential in today's tense climate. Inspired by actual events, our film opens with a fictional bombing in a crowded marketplace as viewed by a number of these ubiquitous cameras.
With a tightly crafted screenplay by Steven Knight ("Amazing Grace") and capably led by award-winning director John Crowley ("Boy A") this cynical view of international terrorism left me so paranoid I suspected every person on screen with the possible exception of the Queen.
Here are the players:
- Eric Bana ("Munich") is a divorced barrister who is assigned to take over a case from a colleague who has committed suicide.
- Rebecca Hall ("Iron Man 3") has been assigned the duty to defend the accused terrorist. She's the worst thing that has ever happened to the divorced barrister.
- Ciarán Hinds ("In Bruges") is a reassuring sounding board for our hero, who has become more and more alarmed as he delves ever deeper into the case.
- Jim Broadbent ("Cloud Atlas") is the Attorney General who reassures us that everything the government does MUST be transparent to its citizens; THAT is how a democracy WORKS.
- Julia Stiles ("The Silver Linings Playbook") is an American journalist who is began digging into the case long before our hero, so she is very well informed.
- Denis Moschitto (Lots of TV) is the accused terrorist. Problem is, for some reason the case is so sensitive he isn't allowed to see the charges. He is profane, angry and frightened. (And his son is in jeopardy!)
Because so much of this plot revolves around the monitoring devices, we feel that everyone is under surveillance but no one is safe. This R-rated thriller is exciting, tense, and funny in places but has no gunshots or sweaty bodies. You'll come out jarred by a couple of plot holes, but in my opinion Bana can carry any movie.