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Archive for June 1st, 2011

by Allan Fish

(UK 2011 399m) DVD1/2

Following the least line of resistance

p  Johann Knobel, Charles Pattinson, Hugo Blick  d/w  Hugo Blick  ph  Tat Radcliffe  ed  Jason Razucki  title song  “Pause” by Emily Barker

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Jonah Gabriel), Christopher Eccleston (Joseph Bede), Kierston Wareing (Lia Honey), Stephen Rea (Gatehouse), Rafe Spall (Jay Wratten), Richard Lintern (Patterson), Robert Pugh (Bob Harris), Lesley Sharp (Julie Bede), David Schofield (Sgt. Foley), Antony Sher (Peter Glickman), Malcolm Storry (Maurice Crace), Eve Best (Petra Mayler), Clare Calbraith (Laura Gabriel), Freddie Fox (Ratallack), Tobias Menzies (Ross McGovern), Sean Gilder (Beatty), Stanley Townsend (Bulkat Babur), Ace Bhatti (Khokar), Charles Kay (Sir Richard Halton), Penny Downie (Caroline Monroe),

Perhaps it was the advertising or what I had come to expect; yet another gangster thriller at a time when British screen has been saturated with them.  Or even worse, another cop show just as Trevor Eve’s shouting in Waking the Dead had been put to rest.  Yet here was a series borne out of something altogether different; the mood, the pacing, the eclectic cast, all far beyond the remit of the average crime genre series.  And then there’s that enigmatic title, out of Conrad, which can mean what you want it to mean; the line between good and evil, the line of enquiry that you just know will be the end of you. 

            In the opening scene a body is discovered by police in the back of a car.  We see this was no ordinary shooting but a gangland contract and the professionals are brought in to look into it.  The victim, one Harvey Wratten, had just that day been released from prison after receiving a pardon, along with his psychotic nephew Jay.  News eventually gets to the underlings in Harvey’s gang, who meet in his cover florist’s business.  On one side we have Jonah Gabriel, cop not long out of a coma and with a bullet still in his head, trying to trace where the line of shooting really came from.  On the other, Joseph Bede, a comparatively good man who just happens to be a crime lieutenant, wants to look into the killing but also wants out, organising one last drugs deal with which he can retire to look after his wife Julie, prematurely suffering from Alzheimer’s and deteriorating fast.    (more…)

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