Closed Circuit Review

Closed Circuit

Trust is a fascinating thing.

We all place our trust in people, institutions or even ideas just to make it through our day to day life with any sense of conviction or meaning.

But what if we put our trust in the wrong place?

Martin Rose puts his trust in rowing.

Well, that and his legal career.

Having gone through a less than amicable divorce with the woman formerly known as Mrs Rose, Martin now has to deal with the unexpected suicide of a lawyer friend of his.

So he takes on said friend’s last case, which brings Martin back into contact with the woman who just so happened to have been the inspiration behind Mr Rose forgetting his marital vows.

All of which seems jolly convenient, except that these two can no longer stand the sight of each other.

And now they’ve been thrust together to work on one of the gravest legal cases in England’s history.

A bomb cunningly disguised as a van by some dastardly terrorists recently blew Borough Market to kingdom come.

With the police having swiftly apprehended the only suspect, MI5 have petitioned for legal proceedings to be heard at one of those secret courts in the interests of national security.

All of which means Rose and his very special advocate friend Claudia Simmons-Howe are now obliged by law to not have any contact with each other.

A state of affairs both parties seem perfectly happy with.

But as Martin starts digging around the murky waters of his new case, he’s faced with choosing to keep the faith in his law or begin to trust his own instincts instead.

In this era of cross dressing whistle blowers and Eddie Snowdon on the lam from pretty much every western nation in the world, Closed Circuit is a film that feels more relevant than ever before.

Eric Bana is his usual intense and identifiable self as Martin Rose, with Rebecca Hall as his partner in crime fighting Claudia Simmons-Howe.

But wrapped around the pretty decent storyline of terrorist bombings, secret agent men and even more secret courts is the real message behind writer Stephen Knight’s script.

Can you really trust what goes on behind closed doors in our so called democracies?

You see, most people labour under the assumption that our secret services exist to protect us.

They don’t.

Like any armed branch of any government you care to mention, these clandestine agencies act to maintain and protect the status quo.

Even if said status quo is wrong.

Even more wrong than Francis Rossi’s hairline.

Which is kind of why we have secret courts in the first place, to keep all the evil things our government agencies do to protect our morally bankrupt way of life secret.

That’s why Dave Cameron and his elitist Bullingdon set are so keen to investigate the Guardian for allegedly breaching national security when.

And that’s why it’s so important to have newspaper editors like Alan Rusbridger who are brave enough to stand up to our corrupt governments and publicly hold them to account.

Because we all know they won’t do it themselves.

As for Closed Circuit, its final act doesn’t quite do justice to the interesting premise and noble ideas it raises as a film.

But trust me when I say it’s worth watching.

Jonathan Campbell

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October 2013
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