RED ROAD: DVD
Jackie Morrison (Kate Dickie) is a surveillance camera operator in Glasgow, observing a bleak public housing cluster. When she recognizes Clyde Henderson (Tony Curran), a dark secret is unleashed and she is aghast that he has been freed before his 10 year prison term has expired. Feeling compelled to confront him, despite never wanting to have seen him again, Jackie maneuvers herself into his narrow orbit and undertakes a plan that is meant to put him back behind bars.
Review by Louise Keller:
A brilliantly conceived thriller that keeps us guessing right up to the very end, Red Road intrigues but frustrates by its slow development and often incomprehensible Scottish dialogue. This debut feature for Andrea Arnold that won the 2006 Cannes Grand Jury Prize spends much of its two hour running time in establishing the characters before hitting us with the unexpected and powerful revelations at the film's end. The set up is terrific as we, together with the protagonist, start watching the town's activities through the eye of the security cameras. We may not know what we are looking for, but we are fascinated. The central performances are raw and potent and the final revelation, sensational, although as a whole the film falls short of satisfying.
'S**t happens every day - that's life,' says Tony Curran's Clyde tells Kate Dickie's Jackie. Jackie is a surveillance operator whose eyes are glued to the many screens that delve where no-one expects to be seen. It's somewhat voyeuristic as she watches a man taking his bulldog for a walk, smiles when the fat woman sings as she puts out the rubbish and can't take her eyes off the surreptitious lovers have sex by a secluded building. But soon, we realise that Jackie is looking for something specific, as she pours over tapes and starts to take an interest in a rough, tough red-haired man who works for a 24 hour locksmith. With tight close ups of Jackie's eye as she watches the tapes, Arnold repeatedly accentuates the importance of the process of watching. To our amazement, Jackie leaves her post and follows the man she is watching, and in doing so, puts herself into the picture. We know little about her. She wears a wedding ring but lives alone and has a regular clumsy, unsatisfying sexual encounter with a married man.
There is silence for much of the film as we, like Jackie, are simply watching. As her involvement with Clyde becomes more intense, there's a torrid and explicit sex scene before a revelation. Matching the mood, the setting is bleak and the dense. Arnold's brilliant but flawed film is filled with confusion, emotion, shock value and a final twist that makes the journey remarkable.
Published February 14, 2008
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RED ROAD: DVD (R)
CAST: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Nathalie Press, Andrew Armour
PRODUCER: Carrie Comeford
DIRECTOR: Andrew Arnold
SCRIPT: Andrea Arnold, Anders Thomas Jensen, Lone Scherfig
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robbie Ryan
EDITOR: Nicolas Chaudeurge
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Helen Scott
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Arkles
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 11, 2007
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Force Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: February 12, 2008