Hidden Agenda Reviews
(1990) Hidden Agenda
THRILLER/ POLITICAL MYSTERY
Well made and gripping cover up movie centering on the existing immoral tactics of the UK police during the early 1980's in Northern Ireland. Human rights activist Ingrid(Frances McDormand) goes on a dangerous journey to find out the truth about her husbands assassination with Brian Cox as the investigator as an aid to Ingrid. Looking at a different side of the fense centuring on inhuman liberties against the IRA and Northern Ireland. A great thinking looking picture.
3 out of 4
Those wordfs spoken by Brad Dourif become rather ominous as Ken Loach's political thriller uncovers dirty dealings at the heart of Northen Island and mainland UK politics.
When Journalist Paul Sullivan is shot and killed by security forces his girlfriend Ingrid Jessner and Inspector Kerrigan who has been sent to deal with the case begin to uncover a sinister conspiracy at the heart of the Troubles.
Loach Shot on location in Northen Island at a time when the troubles were at their height and the feeling of something not being right pervays the whole film.
Brian Cox is Excellent as the dogged Kerrigan who is determined to uncover the truth and Frances McDormand is more than a match for him as Ingrid.
The film hangs on a meeting with Renegade soldier Harris played by Muarice Roves who gives them the detail that a right wing cabal sought to undermine Harold Wilsons goverment in the late 70s .
This being Loach you can take that part of the film with a pinch of salt ,but i found it interesting and very very credible.
An excellent politcal thriller which leaves you looking for more answers by its end.
I feel this did not really translate too well. The problem was that it showed intelligence agents murdering the lawyer and a suspected IRA man, when what seemed to happen in Northern Ireland was that security force killings were usually carried out by the SAS and not by intelligence services. Also, Loyalist groups seem to have carried out killings which the state did not want to be immediately linked too, such as the Finuance murder. Therefore, the shooting of the lawyer did not ring true for me. In addition, I did not think that the British intelligence officer character was very credible.
As the story developed I thought the plot became a little far-fetched. I did not like the introduction of all the old allegations about the intelligence services actions against the Labour government of the 1970s. I thought it took away from the collusion issue that I think the movie was trying to get across. In conclusion, I think Hidden Agenda is a decent film but becomes confused and is not really very illuminating when it comes to its major theme of security force collision during the conflict in Northern Ireland.