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Jackie works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.
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Winner of the 2007 BAFTA Carl Foreman Award, Red Road (dir. Andrea Arnold) saw the debut of the director on her first feature film and has been an acclaimed success since itís release through numerous film festivals and award ceremonies.
The story of the film is about a CCTV operator named Jackie (Kate Dickie) who goes through her job with little interest and seeing other peoplesí lives in the streets of Scotland. During her nightshift, she sees a couple having sexual intercourse at the back of a flat block on Red Road and sees a face of Clyde Henderson (Tony Curran), a criminal who was discharged from prison much earlier than he was supposed to have been.
After the shocking discovery, she visits the area between her shifts and spies on his lifestyle and the people who are in contact with him. This spying then turns into an obsession when she starts focussing on him while she is operating her CCTV section. Eventually, he then starts noticing her and when they finally confront one another, they both realise that the other is not who they appear to be and start building a relationship in the second half of the film.
In the first half of the film, Jackie is seen as a very lonesome and miserable person who goes through her dull daily routine. It is only when she first sees Clyde on one of the cameras sheís operating that she appears interested in something and tries to investigate his movements and lifestyle by herself.
Clyde is seen for the first time doing things that bring questions of suspicion for her, including him and his mate taking an unused sofa and talking to a schoolgirl. These odd appearances however arenít what they appear to be and as she finally encounters him, he is not what he first appeared to be either.
Being the first Scottish film Iíve seen, it was interesting to see what would interest the director to make the story in Scotland, rather then the London locations generally used often for the flat block locations. The only downside in my opinion for being a Scottish film and having characters in a Scottish accent is that I found it quite hard to understand what they were saying and had to have subtitles on in case of anything I couldnít hear them say clearly.
Although at first this appears to be an uninteresting pace for a cinematic experience, it turns into a satisfying view when the two lead charactersí chemistry develops during the course of the film.