Closed Circuit

WRITTEN BY: Steven Knight
DIRECTED BY: John Crowley
STARRING: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent, Riz Ahmed
RATING: 3.5 stars

Part courtroom drama, part action thriller, Closed Circuit is an intriguing film with several twists and turns that will keep you guessing. While some films struggle to juggle two genres and do a film justice, Closed Circuit, which only runs for a little over 90 minutes, is able to keep everything tight and keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until the end.

When a terrorist attack happens in downtown London, the country demands immediate justice. Mysterious heroin addict Farroukh (Denis Moschitto) is charged over the crime but refuses to cooperate with authorities. Defence lawyer Martin Rose (Eric Bana) is assigned to the case along with special advocate Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), who insists the pair hide their previous affair so they can both work on the massive case. If the truth about their previous relationship is revealed, they could both be disbarred. They are also ordered not to contact each other while they gather evidence. Martin hopes to learn more from Farroukh, while Claudia deals with Farroukh's family and top secret documents that could threaten national security. But they soon uncover some dangerous information that leads to legal complexities, assassinations and corruption.

Unfortunately, the film has received some negative reviews from Americans who do not understand the English legal system. Australians should not have such a problem, since our system is based on the English model, although we do not have closed courts in the same way that the film depicts. Closed Circuit also gets caught up in some legal jargon at times, but it is not at all difficult to follow.

Bana is great in this film, learning to row for the role and also pulling off a good English accent. His character has some issues stemming from his divorce and relationship with his son, but he is also very smart and arrogant. It is interesting to see Bana take on such a different role. He also has quite good chemistry with Hall. The supporting cast includes Moschitto, Jim Broadbent and Riz Ahmed who are all solid.

Closed Circuit will probably be one of the most criticised and underrated films of 2013.