Conspiracy thrillers are released thick and fast these days, benefiting from bigger budgets and A-list actors increasingly gracing the promotional marketing. It’s almost mandatory at this stage for an actor to sign up to feature in one of these films; ‘Closed Circuit’ is one such film, featuring a range of talent putting on their most serious faces and best English accents for this very British attempt at riding the wave in style.
The likes of Jim Broadbent – here playing a show-stealing Attorney General – and Ciarán Hinds (Munich, There Will Be Blood) help bolster the supporting cast with acting pedigree, whilst leads Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3, The Town) and Eric Bana (Munich, Chopper) revel in their layered on-screen relationship befitting a similarly multi-faceted crime thriller story.
John Crowley – a director earning an increasingly impressive resumé with recent work on ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘True Detective’ – handles the sensitive material of an attack on London with some taste and composure, allowing Bana in particular to help drive the plot forward by progressively unraveling the conspiracy in play.
Amidst a high-profile legal trial (see ‘Making a Murderer’ if this type of conspiracy chasing takes your fancy), Bana plays Martin Rose – suppressing his distinctive Australian accent in favour of something more appropriate middle-class English – who is tasked with representing the key suspect in the attack at trial.
As things unfold, Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall) is assigned alongside Martin to defend the accused, finding herself alongside him involved in a series of mysterious occurrences which threaten to derail their case and the lives of the accused and his family.
Hall plays her role convincingly, performance well to type as a sharp, matter-of-fact lawyer, while Bana enjoys the space to bring out his more bullish on-screen persona in fleeting instances, while reveling perhaps in the opportunity to play detective.
London provides a great back-drop for any conspiracy film, long extended shots of the riverbanks and side streets offering moments for the music to ramp up and things to get appropriately tense.
If you’ve exhausted your list of thrillers to watch, this is one to watch that may have otherwise passed you by.
Available on Netflix in the UK, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.