'Closed Circuit,' a post-privacy thriller
By Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press
October 25, 2013, 3:45 pm TWN
We're all being watched. All the time.
That's a key message of “Closed Circuit,” an entertaining and well-crafted if not overly heart-stopping British conspiracy thriller starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall. Security cameras are everywhere, giving us birds-eye glimpses of each character, and reminding us that we, too, are never really alone.
Such a concept is hardly shocking in 2013. After all, we write an email, and soon an ad pops up telling us where to buy that thing we sort of mentioned. And of course we've learned in recent months not only of secret government surveillance but even the “Boyfriend Tracker” app for our phones. Perhaps we really do live in a post-privacy era.
But if it's not a shocking concept, the makers of “Closed Circuit,” an intelligent film directed by John Crowley, have certainly shown how creepy it can be. In the London we see here — one of the most watched places in the world, we learn, in terms of security cameras — you never know who's around the corner, or who's been in your apartment, leaving a book slightly askew on your shelf. You don't know who that cab driver or dinner-party companion truly is. You don't even know which side your closest colleagues are on.
At least, such is life for Martin Rose (Bana) and Claudia Simmons-Howe (Hall), two lawyers who become ensnared in the legal case surrounding a horrific terror attack, the bombing of a bustling London food market.
As the film begins, we're staring, fittingly, at footage from security cameras — eventually 15 of them. Each captures a snippet of life on a busy November morning. In one frame, a truck shows up where it's not supposed to. In an instant, 120 people are dead.
Rowing peacefully on the Thames, Martin gets a call. The lawyer defending the lone surviving terror suspect has committed suicide. Work pressure and all that. Martin's been tapped to replace him.