Defence of the Realm (Defense of the Realm) Reviews
The movie shows a newspaper reporter played by Gabriel Byrne who picks up the trail of a cover-up plot, but by whom and what it is that is being covered up remain fuzzy. He is interrogated by some sort of "spooks" at MI-something or other with no legal rights whatsoever. Unfortunately, all this big suspense leads up to an insufficient event to warrant this much covering-up. We are really never told exactly what it is that happened, just given innuendos to make us think this is a really BIG deal! The ending is completely unsatisfying. There is no depth of characterization, just a lot of suspicion, of the sort designed to make the public distrustful of their government officials. The whole thing seemed like a paranoid piece of fluff, despite the presence of so many excellent British actors/actresses.
Gabriel Byrne is excellent as a journalist who begins to uncover a sinister political plot involving a disgraced minister ,the KGB and a Norfolk airforce base.
What helps the film is the supporting cast including Denholm Elliott as a boozy hack who uncovers the mystery and Greta Sacci as an able helper to Byrnes cause.
The director David Drury also gives you a feel for a pre computer press office with a smoky atmosphere and boozy lunches in the corridors of power.
The plot does get a little tangled in places ,but iguess that was the general idea of the film ,it also predates the brilliant Edge of Darkness TV series in dealing with shady political dealings.
A finely polished gem and well worth a second glance
A very good thriller.