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Closed Circuit

28 Aug

‘Closed Circuit’: Twists, turns, tension and peril as trial becomes law vs. government

By Tom Meek
August 27, 2013


This is a deft, thinking person’s thriller from the team of producers behind 2011’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” Clearly they know intrigue, though “Closed Circuit” is less of a brain boggle than the Cold War chess game based on the John le Carré novel. Based on real events, it’s never a street brawl either, though plenty of blood is spilt – mostly offscreen. London is rocked by a massive terrorist attack that kills more than 100 innocents. The means of mayhem is nothing special: a truck full of explosives is parked in front of an open market and triggered, suicide style. What is special is the fact that the mastermind is so easily caught.

082813i Closed CircuitThe rub comes during the staging of the trial. The Crown, for security reasons, wants a closed hearing due to sensitive “secret evidence” that could put the public safety at risk – or so that’s the line being toed by the attorney general, played by a slimmed-down James Broadbent as an avuncular and creepy puppet master. As the trial gears up, a nosy defense attorney (James Lowe) commits suicide by jumping from a tall building. His replacements don’t buy the unhappy-gay story circulating in the rumor mill and begin to poke around too, but they have other challenges to contend with. Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall) have been romantically involved. It wrecked his marriage, and if a trace of their involvement is evident they will be booted from the trial. To complicate matters even more, the two can’t communicate during the closed-session segment of the trial and only Claudia, as the special advocate with classified clearance, can look at the secret evidence.  Continue reading