The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the movie “Closed Circuit” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
Wait, they still wear wigs in the courts in England, I thought Monty Python just made that up to be silly.
“Closed Circuit” stars Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall as a pair of lawyers, pardon me, barristers in England that find themselves trapped in a case the English secret service doesn’t want them getting to the bottom of. As the danger around them intensifies so does their desire to find the truth. You know, there is automatically a level of difficulty that comes with presenting a movie based in political intrigue. You have to trust your audience to pay attention enough to catch the ins and outs of the system. But that’s even more difficult when that system is from across the pond. So the fact that the entire thematic premise and plot development of this film is based on a rarely used legal process in the UK means the creators of “Closed Circuit” already had a tough case to crack. So did they pull it off? Well, I think they come close.
There’s a lot I really enjoyed about this courtroom drama. The acting, especially from the leads, Bana and Hall, is absolutely top notch. It’s a testament to their skill that they can spit out so much detailed information and still make their characters feel so genuine. And the nuances the writers added to their backstory added to the depth and never felt forced. And I can’t forget to mention Jim Broadbent who is so consistently amazing these days that it almost doesn’t bare mentioning… almost. But the best thing for me, was just engaging in the intricacies of the story. I’m a sucker for a movie that keeps my mind engaged and “Closed Circuit” made me pay close attention to each plot movement or political explanation. Of course if that’s not your thing, this movie is going to feel like a giant social studies lesson on the English Court system and you may end up feeling more like you are doing homework than watching a movie.
This isn’t helped by the fact that the movie has a deliberately slow pace. Sure, it gives the actors room to breathe, but without very much action to speak of to break up the long stretches of dialog and exposition, lets just say you might want to make sure you’re well rested before you go into the movie.
Yet, despite a pace that might lead some to boredom and an intricate subject matter that might be confusing, I found this movie interesting and compelling most likely due to some great acting and a plot that found intellectually stimulating. I give “Closed Circuit” a B.
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