Closed Circuit, written by Stephen Knight (Eastern Promises), is an extremely timely political thriller. From terrorist bombings to intense government surveillance, Closed Circuit‘s script reads more like a current news story than a fictional film. Especially following the Boston Marathon bombing and the Edward Snowden affair, it’s easy to see how this film will resonate with audiences everywhere.
Set in London, England, Closed Circuit begins with multiple closed-circuit television (CCTV) feeds displaying different angles of a bustling local market. Suddenly, there is a huge explosion, which we later find out was a terrorist bombing that killed almost a hundred people. A Muslim suspect named Farroukh Erdogan is quickly taken into custody and charged for the crime. As would happen in real life, the public and media are clamoring for someone to blame and convict; so begins the “trial of the century”.
After Erdogan’s attorney commits suicide, it is up to Martin (Eric Bana), a defense attorney (or “barrister”), and Claudia (Rebecca Hall), a Special Advocate (a barrister who is allowed to look at the classified evidence) to give the suspect a fair defense. Pretty quickly, Martin and Claudia discover that the case may not be as cut and dry as it first appeared. Perhaps there is a more national security-sensitive story that is lurking underneath. Will the barristers be able to discover what’s really going on before they become victims themselves?
Last week, I had the opportunity to conduct a roundtable interview with the star of Closed Circuit, Eric Bana. Bana has been a staple in Hollywood’s “leading man” category over the past decade, starring in Hanna, Black Hawk Down, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Troy, Munich, and Star Trek (just to name a few). With such a genre-hopping résumé, it’s only natural that his next step would be in the realm of political thrillers.
I asked Mr. Bana questions about his sketch comedy days in Australia (he did great impressions of Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger), if he preferred playing a character on the good side of the law or the bad side of the law, and whether Closed Circuit’s content made him think differently about the news stories he sees now on TV. Mr. Bana was a great interview and really gave great insight into what it takes to make a thrilling movie. Check out the interview audio below and don’t miss seeing Closed Circuit, opening in DC this Wednesday (August 28).