Red Road (2007)

Director : Andrea Arnold
Starring: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press . Scotland/UK/Denmark. 1h 53m.

There is a dynamic between a voyeur and the object of his or her desire, I’m in this chilling Scottish drama it’s quite easy to forget who is voyeur and who is the object. the film opens with Jackie (Dickie) who is a closed circuit television operator in Glasgow, she sits in front of a wall of screens watching some of the most impoverished areas of the city emphasising with the more quirky characters as they go about their daily lives, a cleaner silently dancing and then office blocks was she works, a shop owner taking his aged bulldog for a walk every evening come to a smile out of Jackie at her job at city icontrol division E. but all too often she catch his suspicious activities and has to report criminals to the proper authorities while scanning the worst neighbourhoods for signs of trouble and aiding victims.

Somewhere between her messy affair, mundane homelife there’s inkling that Jackie herself is one of these victims but silently she hides the past until she notices a red haired man name Clyde (Curran), and soon spurs herself into his life and a dark unknown territory.

With a fever determination Jackie scrambles to insert herself into Clyde’s life, Even though it’s taking huge leap from the person she really is in order to befriend the low life of Glasgow and to get herself noticed by this man but constantly there is a huge question mark hanging over that entire situation, why would this CCTV controller be so obsessed with an ex-con?

Taking that step from in front of the monitors to in front of the cameras and being on the streets makes a huge change in the pace of the movie, being face to face with the low life scum and having to lie on the spot and think quick on her feet complete the transformation for Jackie. it’s very clear to see how comfortable she is and really shows the monumental scale of the task at hand but slowly the dot start to be connected as the mystery deepens until something finally snaps.

This is the first full length feature from Andrea Arnold who wrote and directed this disturbing drama which and all intents and purposes feels like a descent into hell from there quiet and meager beginning where we could relate to Jackie situation she walks a fairly dangerous path into the unknown , and it’s not until a raw and almost violent naked sex scene does the winding path finally start to make sense although it still open for interpretation we can easily see that Jackie is a woman scorned, and how have no fury, but if she out for repentance or revenge, I think even if she walks away into the distance at the end of the movie she was still unsure herself. but one thing that Jackie did not give up throughout her entire journey is her empathy even when trying to be friend an abusive boyfriend who lives with Clyde, she still reaches up to a young girl in a terrible situation and tries to help her. how to help Clyde the main object of her obsessive desire but despite her need to destroy the man parts of her still want to help rebuild his life.

It’s certainly not an easy movie to piece together, get your head around and understand fully, it really is one of those stories that you can only truly appreciate if you have been in a similar situation, and thankfully not a lot of us have been but this glorious narrative of facing one’s demons and going headlong into the void it certainly one to remember and rightly won many awards for its triumph in cinematic vision and wonderful storytelling.

Rating 7/10

R: Sliver (1993), Young Adam (2003), Ratcatcher (1999), 1984(1956), Closed Circuit (2013)

L: Observing Surveillance

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