The progression of director Kathryn Bigelow's career has been intriguing. Her early career saw her direct, amongst others, the best vampire movie ever in Near Dark, and the excessively silly but persuasively enjoyable Point Break, before arriving at the troubled recent American history. The Hurt Locker was a fascinating Iraq War drama that drilled into the psyche of a bomb disposal officer; while Zero Dark Thirty took on the even more contentious subject of the CIA's search for Osama Bin Laden. For her latest film she takes on the '67
Initially the film doesn't appear to have a fixed narrative, beyond chronicling the
Proceedings are held together by a trio of exceedingly strong performances, from a talent-rich ensemble. John Boyega plays a security guard dragged into the incident depicted; Will Poulter heads up a group of police officers responsible for the excessive force and extreme outcomes; and Algee Smith is one of the victims of the unfolding events. Much of the heavy emotive lifting is down to Smith, who is at first effortlessly charming then heartbreakingly broken. Boyega brings a moral complexity to a figure who finds himself an outsider to all parties; it is certainly his strongest performance to date. But it is Poulter's portrayal that lingers, compellingly vile and with enough hints of grey as to avoid caricature. A fascinatingly grounded performance in a role that could so easily be overplayed.