The Obama administration can’t be thrilled to see Closed Circuit hitting theaters today.
The film may be set in England, but its Big Brother machinations and an appalling lack of political transparency will leave a mark on anyone still enamored with the moldy campaign slogan, “Hope and Change.”
The film stars Eric Bana as a British lawyer assigned to defend a man suspected of masterminding a terrorist attack. The case is hardly open and shut, and long before the third act we’ve witnessed government overreach, the prevalence of closed circuit technology and politicians willing to do anything necessary to keep their secrets secret.
It’s a paranoid political thriller ripped right out of the 1970s, only there’s no President Richard M. Nixon in the White House upon which to cast easy blame.
We do have a leader who continues to mislead the nation about the nature of the government’s domestic spying, though, a president whose soaring rhetoric about a cleaner brand of governance can’t measure up to his manufactured reality.
President Barack Obama isn’t name checked once in Closed Circuit. The film’s story is wholly contained across the pond. It could be the first in a wave of thrillers where bigger government leads to all manner of bad behavior. Audiences might lap it up, only for the hope that the final minutes will pack a happier than reality ending. Or, movie goers will stay away en masse. They’ve read all those stories about NSA domestic spying, and they’d rather not see more of the same on the big screen.