Sometimes it is very interesting to watch an actor/actress portray a character that is very different from that which we are used to seeing them in. During the 1990s and early 2000s Gillian Anderson was one of the best known television actresses for her role on The X-Files as Special Agent Dana Scully. Scully was a medical doctor who was a very logical woman of deep faith in God. Level-headed, intelligent and reserved, we associated Gillian Anderson with the character she played for nine seasons. After the series ended it is understandable that the actress would want to go in a different direction. In British director/screenwriter Dan Reed’s film Closure (known as Straightheads over in the UK) she finds that outlet to mixed results.
Being a rich and living in the upper classes of society, Alice (Gillian Anderson) is used to getting what she wants. Surprisingly what she wants is a blue collar much younger alarm installer. Adam (Danny Dyer – Greenfingers, Human Traffic) has gone to Alice’s upscale flat to install a high tech alarm video system. The very efficient Alice comes home to find him asleep on a chair on her balcony. Nonplussed she, however, does not get mad at him. Rather she tells him to pour himself a proper drink while she takes a shower. Adam uses the video system to watch Alice as she prepares to shower. Afterwards she asks him if he would like to attend a party with her.
This is a posh party taking place at her boss’s country estate. The blue collar Adam sticks out like a sore thumb. Alice finds him smoking alone on the grounds. Together they go into the woods and have sex. On the way home Alice hits a deer and as Adam is about to end its misery the two are attacked by a violent group of men. Adam is severely beaten while Alice is brutally raped.
The two are physically and emotionally damaged by what happened to them. Each has a different response. Adam becomes fearful and hesitant, very dependent on Alice. Alice wants vengeance on the men. A stroke of luck leads to Alice finding out the identity of one of the men who attacked her. With a single-mindedness and skills taught to her by her father, Alice hatches a plan for revenge on the man who raped her. Like a puppy dog Adam follows along with her despite his doubts and distaste for what she has planned.
Revenge is a subject that has been examined in many a film. It is interesting as it is a human emotion most of us have felt and dealt with in our lifetimes. This film is concerned with vengeance against those who have perpetrated the most heinous of crimes. It contains plenty of sexuality and brutally violent scenes. What revenge films do require is a feeling of sympathy towards those who have been wronged or brutalized. This is sadly lacking in Closure. Despite the fact that Adam and Alice have been brutalized by depraved types we don’t cheer for them when they put into action their plan for revenge. This lack of empathy for the victims undermines the success of the film from the very beginning.
Another problem is the acting. While Gillian Anderson does a good job her co-lead Danny Dyer is a disappointment. Certain scenes are unintentionally humourous due to his lack of talent. He has been totally miscast and I left the film wondering if it could have been a success if someone else played Adam.
With its short 76 minute run time Closure doesn’t overstay its welcome. There is very little fat and it gets to the point very quickly with little lingering. Still it underwhelms.
-Previews of Coming To Blu-ray, Vacancy, Hostel Part II, Walking Tall: Lone Justice, Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud, Rise: Blood Hunter, Bobby 2, The Contractor, The Last Time, I Know Who Killed Me, Revenge: Director’s Cut/Donnie Brasco Extended Cut Combo