Coming to theatres this Friday from director James Marsh and BBC Films comes the tale of knowing who to trust when you’re a SHADOW DANCER.
This film tells the story of Collette (Andrea Riseborough), a young woman living in Belfast in the 1990’s. With family losses there is enough anger to go around as her family gets involved with the IRA.
Now, Collette has been captured by MI5 for placing a bomb that did not explode. Agent Mac (Clive Owen) is being pushed by his boss Kate Fletcher (Gillian Anderson) to get her on their side trying to obtain information about the plans of the group in Belfast. He makes a deal with Collette agreeing to not press charges if she helps.
Knowing that her young son hangs in the balance, Collette must walk a fine line with the group’s leader Gerry (Aidan Gillen), Sean (Ben Smyth), Connor (Domhnall Gleeson) and Liam (Michael McElhatton).
FINAL WORD: Riseborough as Collette is definitely an intense actress. She is a woman torn between something she truly believes is her fault as a child and the wishes of the family. Once having her own child it becomes clear that the only way to stop from being used by anyone is to do the exact thing she hates the most. Talk about ironic!
Owen as Mac is a man on a mission. Their interesting thing here is that he should be the one worrying about whose on his side! Owen’s character wants to do what’s right but by everyone and that gets him caught up in trusting no one. He is good at playing these types of characters with a heart and even when he’s tough it is easy to see it’s only briefly before the true emotions surface.
Gillen as Gerry keeps his emotions in check. Some might say that there isn’t any emotion here but when you see the film all the way through to the very shocking end it becomes so understandable.
Anderson is an interesting choice for Fletcher. Although her accent is a tad muddled and I wasn’t sure who she was trying to sound like – she gets to play a bitch and there’s something to be said for that.
Other cast includes: Martin McCann as Brendan, Stuart Graham as Ian, Gary Lydon as Geoff, and David Wilmot as Kevin Mulville.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give SHADOW DANCER three tubs of popcorn out of five. The gray and gritty way the film is done lends to the story telling since the subject is equally gray and gritty. I have seen films that have the spy thriller aspect to them and this is a more subtle story telling.
The characters each have a role in this drama but the viewer is never really quite sure how it will play out and I enjoyed that immensely. There is a lot of finger pointing with an ending that is a little bit of a jaw dropper. Take a moment to check out SHADOW DANCER.
In the end – mother, daughter, sister, spy!