A murky tale. A child goes missing in West Yorkshire, one of several over ten years; the police find a patsy, an acquaintance of Michael, a blood simple man serving a life sentence for another girl's death. Michael's mother asks John Piggott, a burned-out solicitor, to look into her son's conviction; Piggott finds injustices in current and past cases. Maurice Jobson, part of a group of corrupt cops, searches for the missing girl, involves a medium, finds nothing, leans hard on Piggott, and may be tiring of the sham. He's warned off going soft. Is there moral strength anywhere capable of facing down the cabal?Written by
The seemingly untouchable, corrupt West Yorkshire police, and the true evil mastermind behind the child abductions and murders of the last 14 years, can't resist doing it again. "Red Riding: 1983" sets the story that another young girl has vanished from the same area, nine years earlier. "Red Riding: 1983" cycles back to the terrible events set in motion in "Red Riding: 1974", when a series of young girls went missing and a mentally retarded man, Michael Myshkin (Mays), was wrongfully convicted for the crime. Detective Inspector Maurice Jobson (Morrissey), a regular if mostly background character in the first two films, becomes our first focal point here as a man deeply wrecked by his complicity in the Yorkshire Constabulary's general lawlessness.
In 1983, another young girl disappears, and Jobson decides to do some actual police work--and reopening several old cases his colleagues would prefer to keep closed--and sniffing around the likes of series constant Rev. Lawes (Mullan, with the omniscience and eerie stillness of a very dark angel). Simultaneously, in the trilogy's first dual narrative, another lead emerges in the form of John Piggott (Addy), a sad-sack solicitor and Yorkshire native who reluctantly agrees to file an appeal on behalf of Myshkin. Piggott marks the trilogy's most uncomplicated hero.
It may come as a surprise that the ending of "Red Riding: 1983" adds a dose of hope to its brackish main course. "Red Riding: 1983" provides a fitting conclusion to a whole that is, in some ways, greater than the sum of its parts." Red Riding" is an effective crime thriller, but it's an even more striking drama about the dark parts of the human soul and man's capacity for inhumanity. The third movie represents the middle ground between the promising-but-uneven" Red Riding: 1974" and its sequel, the shocking and haunting "Red Riding:1980." This time around, there's less in the way of a stand- alone narrative as screenwriter Tony Grisoni, working from the novel by David Peace, stitches closed various plot holes. The finale doesn't answer all of our question, but it provides a sense of closure and clears up a number of nagging questions left over from the previous two segments.
What we can take away from all of this is not just an investigation into a series of child murders. This is an in-depth character study of three (or four) main protagonists--as they slowly unfold a ring of corruption surrounding an era of a very specific locale of the UK. As things get "hairy" within each of our main characters' worlds, rather than dig deeper into the case, they instead spend three quarters of the running time of each film digging deeper into their own psych--and begin to like what they see in themselves less and less.
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