Film Review: “Closed Circuit” (2013)

Interesting and intelligent tale of intrigue revolving around some investigative attorneys chasing down leads that suggest an intelligence agency might be responsible for a huge disaster similar to the World Trade Tower in 2001.

Interesting and watchable even though they tap into the current hysteria about National Security Agencies collecting data on the general public (most pundits think there is no convincing evidence of evil intent.)

The reality is that intelligence agencies don’t go around killing people that might connect them to wrongdoing. If that were the case, both Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden would be reposing in shallow graves somewhere in the wilds of New Hampshire.

Intelligence agencies both here and in Britain collect organize and root out information as in “Zero Dark Thirty”. None of John Lecarre’s characters ever became involved in any kind of violence. James Bond is a plausible myth, but a myth just the same. John Drake of “Secret Agent” (1960-62) never carried any kind of weapon and said “Oh Dear” a lot when confronted with danger.

However, it’s fun to surmise that intelligence agencies could evolve to all kinds of violent trickery as in “The Manchurian Candidate (Frank Sinatra, 1962) and “The Parallax View” (Warren Beatty, 1974).  “Bond about to be sectioned by a hot laser beam: “Do you expect me to talk?  Auric Goldfinger:  “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”

All that said, if you’re wiling to forgive the obvious paranoia, the film is interesting, well acted, coherent and offers a lot of intrigue, much like a LeCarre film.

Worst feature:  Like LeCarre, the plot is slower than it could have been.

Best feature: Near the end, Jim Broadbent as the sinister Attorney General explaining to Eric Bana how the system will effectively deal with the apparent legal mess as a self fulfilling prophesy.

Oddity:  One of the characters in named Farroukh, which is the real first name of the late Freddy Mercury, “Queen” front man who was born in Zanzibar and educated in India.

I thought it was intelligent and interesting.

I give it three of five cryptic cell phone warnings.


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