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Jamie Magnus Stone
Convinces in the concept and delivers a nicely dark conclusion
Despite having won the BAFTA a few days before I watched this, I tried to come to this film with an open mind, equally happy to find it be award-worthy or not to be but just to take it on its own terms. The plot sees a British prisoner in a Russian jail put into a cell with another British prisoner. In the cell he finds a red box which the other man warns him not to open. In the light of the BAFTA win I should also say that after seeing this film I read the only other user comment on this site I was really surprised that it seemed to suggest that this film was all about the CGI effects, and I must say I totally disagree.
To me the CGI support a nice concept which goes very quickly to a satisfyingly dark ending. The effects are good for sure, but they are never the whole deal and in fact never feel like more than a support to the idea. The delivery is nicely convincing and the fantastical nature of the box never gets away from the grim reality of the prison. The direction keeps it here while also proposing this idea in a way that makes sense but yet is not real. The performances from Cullen and Gould help keep it real and I liked the coldness of Gould in particular.
Whether or not it deserved to win the BAFTA I cannot say as I have not seen the other contenders, but for me it uses the effects well to support the concept that keeps us in the cell, with the characters and then delivers a dark and satisfying conclusion.
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