Cert15 111mins Stars 4
Keira Knightley’s talent shoulders this gripping, articulate and hugely relevant real life political thriller.
As a GCHQ translator who leaks top secret documents regarding government shenanigans in the build up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Knightly excels in a well chosen role which is tailor-made to utilise her strengths.
She plays a solidly middle class professional whose conscience demands she become a whistleblower, but who quickly regrets her impulsive behaviour.
Her life begins to unravel when a national newspaper runs her story, allowing Knightley to be terrified yet resolute, and principled as she suffers investigation and intimidation by the bullying apparatus of UK government.
And with the unscrupulous secret services determined to make an example of her, it’s not a great time to be married to a Kurdish muslim Turk of uncertain UK residential status.
An excellent script expertly navigates the murky waters where the security service, law and media mix, and the tone is high in paranoia with secret meetings in underground car parks, urgent whispered phone calls and angry meetings in newspaper offices.
As the repercussions of his governments actions continue to make headlines in the Middle East today, Matt Smith and Rhys Ifans are the smooth and rough edges of journalism, among whose company Ralph Fiennes gets in the final word as a sympathetic lawyer.