“Closed Circuit” is a legal, political drama about two barristers who have been assigned to defend Farroukh Erdogan, a Turkish man accused of masterminding and executing a terrorist attack in London.
The movie is compelling from the first scene. We see a bustling marketplace through the eyes of CCTV (closed circuit t.v), as young girls gossip, a mother criticizes her daughter, a man gets in a fight with his significant other on the phone, etc…Then, it happens. A white van explodes, killing over a hundred people.
Martin Rose (Eric Bana) and Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall) are on the case to defend the man in custody for this horrendous act. While Rose is an ordinary barrister, Simmons-Howe is what they call a ‘special advocate,’ one who is hired to defend their client in closed session after classified, top-secret documents are released to her. This information is not to be shared with her peer, Rose, and cannot leave the confines of closed court. And, of course, this super secret information incriminates some very important people and institutions.
From the above description, you can guess that Martin and Claudia, in a desperate attempt to do what is right and seek justice, break the rules the court has laid out and find themselves in heaps of danger. And, they had an affair sometime ago. Because of that, one of them should have resigned from the case but both were too stubborn to give up such as big case.
“Closed Circuit” moves fast and asks for your undivided attention. Although a ‘thriller,’ it isn’t scary like many thrillers tend to be. It is intellectual and wants its viewers to think. To think about right vs wrong, about government power and perhaps about the hopelessness of seeking justice.
Personally, I love Erica Bana and Rebecca Hall and their starring roles in “Closed Circuit” was a huge draw for me. They both do a splendid job and the complication of their love affair adds the perfect amount of tension to the film, without making it annoyingly prevalent.
Director John Crowley and screenwriter Steve Knight have created a succinct thriller but maybe too succinct. My only issue with “Closed Circuit” is the length. The film is only 90 minutes and seems to wrap up quickly and unsatisfactorily. However, I still found it extremely enjoyable.
After a summer of action films and superheroes, “Closed Circuit” is refreshing and seems to pave the way for the drama films to come this fall.