Closed Circuit Blu-ray Review
There are over 500,000 surveillance cameras in London, making it the most “watched” city in the world. That’s both fascinating and creepy and someday, someone should make a movie about that. CLOSED CIRCUIT is not that movie. Despite the trailers and marketing trying to convince you it is and despite director John Crowley’s misguided direction at times, CLOSED CIRCUIT is actually a legal/spy drama that has very little to do with cameras or surveillance. So with that out of the way, what we do have with CLOSED CIRCUIT is an efficient, enjoyable thriller with some good performances.
Martin (Eric Bana) has just been assigned as the defense attorney to a man accused of blowing up a market and killing over 100 people. His former lover, Claudia (Rebecca Hall) has also been assigned to the defense team and is privy to classified data that Martin is not. Claudia’s position doesn’t really exist in American courts, so there’s some time spent explaining how the British judicial process works that I won’t explain here. There’s some time spent on the fact that Martin and Claudia can’t talk to each other, despite being former lovers and on the same defense team, but that little intricacy doesn’t really have an impact on the overall plot. As Martin and Claudia investigate their case, they realize quickly that this is not an open and shut case and soon, it’s revealed that the accused terrorist has ties to MI5. Obviously, this is something that MI5 doesn’t want revealed, so Martin and Claudia have to find a way to reveal the truth before MI5 figures out a way to stop them.
Given the title of the film and the aforementioned marketing campaign, it’s only natural that there would be some mention of cameras or surveillance somewhere in the film. Crowley spent time using split screens to show how various characters were on camera and had several shots of the actors looking at the cameras that were pointed at them, but that never went anywhere. There was no one on the other side of the camera and everything MI5 did to spy on them could have been done without the 500,000 cameras around London. It was a frustrating distraction to what was otherwise a decent thriller. The film is helped greatly by the performances of Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall. Bana can’t seem to find the right roles these days, but he really carried CLOSED CIRCUIT and gave us a character we could root for. Claudia was a less interesting character, but Rebecca Hall did well with it and gave her just enough vulnerability to make us concerned for her well being.
CLOSED CIRCUIT is actually a pretty decent law/spy thriller, even though it has a very anti-climactic ending. It’s hard to classify it since the lawyers start to merge into spies by the third act, but I enjoyed the peek into the British legal system and I liked the slow reveal of details about the case they were working on. I get frustrated at all the “government is out to get me” type movies, but CLOSED CIRCUIT pulled it off by making the audience believe the events could actually transpire.
CLOSED CIRCUIT BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: CLOSED CIRCUIT looks great on Blu-ray. This is a very dark and bleak colored film, but the contrast of colors when used shine through wonderfully.
Audio: The audio was also fine.
Secrets Behind the Camera: Closed Circuit (2:58): This is about as fluff a promo piece as you’re going to find.
The movie didn’t require many special features, but I would have liked to have listened to a commentary from Crowley to hear him talk about the film and some of his decisions.