[critical] SHADOW DANCER

Collette, a young widow, is a republican living in Belfast with her mother and brothers, fervent activists of the IRA. Following his arrest after an attack aborted in the heart of London, Mac, a secret agent of MI5, offers him the choice : spend 25 years in prison, and so lose what she most dear, his son, or spy on her own family. She decides to trust Mac, and returns among his people.

Author’s Note


Release Date : February 6, 2013

Directed by James Marsh

With Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, Clive Owen

Film britanniquo-irish

Duration : 1h42min

Original title : Shadow Dancer

Trailer :

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Forget the thriller in action (TAKEN). Here, James Marsh arrives to nest the policy correctly in his thriller. The historical reconstruction is perfect, and the filmmaker has taken care not to forget any detail. A political thriller where the terrorists are at the heart of investigations and missions of the police officers. This movie is going to quickly turn in the espionage film. Indeed, the political discourse only comes with the stakes provided. Because as soon as the second stage, one has the right to a face-to-face striking between a cop and a young woman widow who has the choice between a long stay in prison and to spy on his family.

But this is not all. This espionage will soon be accepted. So, what else is there of political discourse and of the espionage film ? The political discourse hand little by little up in smoke, leaving a melodrama within a family that has to integrate the film side of espionage. And the director focuses so much on the compliance of the scenario and of the conductive wire that the voltage takes as soon as within this family. Even if the film comes to leave a few structural inconsistencies in its dramaturgy.

The film has such a coldness that it upsets the narrative. A thriller that reads more like a political thriller that goes to the intimate.

James Marsh had the air of a lot to its dramaturgy. From the mid-documentary, it is includes. But this is not a reason that the center of the film is such a mess. It was a scene of exposure in the past that has no interest for the rest of the course of the story, as we wonder when this mess will end and there one gets a big slap in the face for the outcome. But if the substance is poorly operated, it could not be said of the form.

James Marsh we filmed his story with such coldness and impunity that it becomes disgusting. All the side espionage film intimate was a nice idea, the atmosphere cold, tasteless (therefore without fear), and do not support the situations is outrageous. For a filmmaker who comes from the documentary, come to a such a level of academism to fly adventures is maddening. Even being allowed to enter into the dark room and then see the live ballet is not finished was a bigger shock.

Oh no, there are also shocking in this film. The way James Marsh discusses his characters. Both Andrea Riseborough and Cliwe Owen are wonderful, as they save the film from disaster. In effect, the developer has forgotten something essential : the love her characters. Expected to show their heartbreaks interiors and their struggle to face their inner demons, the characters are resolved to the simple evocation of a witness of a situation that can tip to one direction or another.

In fact, except for the ultimate respect of the plot, the cast and the film side of espionage intimate, everything sounds fake in this movie. Even when it comes to having a semblance of a climax. This is what’s missing in this film and it really took off and did not stay stupidly in an air of unfinished business. A climax would have propelled the film to a side ambiguous that it would have done probably the well. Because we really wondered if we, the spectators in the room, it is just there to observe and not be concerned or even taken down to this conclusion yet sublime.

Finally, SHADOW DANCER is a film that is really tense, but not scary. There is such coldness in this film that it comes to affect the story. But we cannot deny not that the cast offers us a gem of a performance and that the filmmaker was able to film his thriller. A thriller that reads more like a political thriller that goes to the intimate, and it makes rather a handsome copy psychological. But when you have not much to say, the consistency is lost with the characters and wait for the outcome (admittedly grandiose) with impatience.

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