'Britz' attempts to look at the psychology of contemporary British Muslims, a worthy subject in the age of suicide bombings. Two siblings feature in this drama, and both are viewed with sympathy: a man who joins the security service, and his sister, who become a terrorist. Unfortunately, episode one, centred on the former, is plain daft. MI5 is presented much as it is in 'Spooks': beautiful people, high tech-gadgetry, and a general air of cool. It didn't convince me one iota as real, and seemed as littered with false detail like a bad sci-fi film: for example, we see implausible network analysis graphics on the screens of the agents, whose sinister form was presumably preferred to taking any real network analysis package and putting a real network through it. It's still amazing to me that in the 21st century, films try to impress by simulating imagined computer technology with mock-ups less impressive than the real thing. This point may sound like a geekish digression, but it illustrates a more fundamental truth: that the world we see is a false one, right down to the old cliché of the supposed desk officer going out to find the terrorists by himself when his bosses won't believe him.
Episode two, his sister's story, isn't as silly, but I didn't find that it completely convinced me that the character, who seems rational and sarcastic, would actually end her own life. The suggestion is made that she acts out of anger rather than religious belief; but I am uncertain whether a sane, intelligent and secular human being can really take a decision to commit suicide; her experiences, although tough, do not justify the extreme nihilism of her position. The aim is undoubtedly to make us understand the mind of a bomber; but while Nasira is understandable , she loses plausibility as a result. Additionally, the drama in both episodes is often heavy-handed, rather clumsily making its points. But 'Britiz' is not rubbish. In places, its an interesting
and thoughtful look at certain aspects of life in Britain and Pakistan that are often unreported. But in its efforts to make a bigger statement about a greater and more terrifying mystery, this ambitious film over-reaches itself.
5 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this