Jackie works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.
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Whilst working as a CCTV operator in Glasgow's working-class Red Road estate, Jackie sees a face from the past, a face that she thought would no longer haunt her dreams. Keeping her distance, and with the use of her CCTV cameras, she follows the face and the man and she finally decides to confront him. It is here that past lives are once again entwined and reconciliations are aired.Written by
edgy, brooding, powerful, oddly elegant...a special film
Red Road (2006)
A deeply moving yet raw, slightly shocking, slightly scary look into a woman whose grieving has gone beyond the usual terrible sadness of death. Set in urban Scotland, and feeling like the South Bronx, with many scenes in graffiti covered high rises and night streets, the whole mood is, like, get me out of here. And yet the lead woman, Jackie, almost always alone, and played with unusual sensitivity and calm by Kate Dickie, does just the opposite of getting out. She enters forbidden spaces, sees danger, and then calmly keeps penetrating.
You sense why, early on, but don't quite know. It's never explained in words, but it becomes clear by the unfolding of the events--the best kind of movie-making. Much of the time is spent watching Jackie brood and emote, and move through these rough-edged city scenes. It is all made very reasonable, which only makes it scarier. And yet, as much as it's real, and realistic, it has an artful (not artsy) pace to it that imbues the whole feeling with something larger, something universal. It makes it all matter even to us, far from the screen.
English director Andrea Arnold is little known even though she won an Oscar for a short a few years earlier, but she has a few other films that I suddenly need to see. There are aspects here of brilliance, like the many surveillance camera scenes, and yet even these are not flashy, and with no hype they, like the movie, dig into your brain. More important, there is a grip on the whole, the balance and flow of the narrative, the feeling in the editing and small details included that add up. It's a commanding experience. It won't be for everyone-- on the surface it might seem slow and indulgently sad--but if it will definitely be a very special movie for others. Even the shocking climax near the end, which at first seems like directorial excess, makes sense after all, both for the character, who has lost some sense of boundary, and for the viewer, who is meant to lose their boundaries, as well. And really get into Jackie's head.
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