Thursday, July 26, 2012

CLEANSKIN - Hadi Hajaig - film review

Well, by eck!

CLEANSKIN (made by the UK Film Studio) has a lot of balls doing what it just did.

This privately-funded little film “Cleanskin” starring Sean Bean, Charlotte Rampling, James Fox and Michelle Ryan takes the standard 'lone vigiliante tasked by MI5 to take out a domestic terror cell' story (as described in this wonderfully misleading trailer) and flip it on its head.

Sean Bean stars as the lone vigilante, Charlotte Rampling his controller. It was a very strange film to watch because slowly, like a prolongued water torture scene, you realise ... you realise that this film's playing with your mind. The good guys are painted bad. The bad guys are painted a vague editorial colour to suit the film's ulterior motive.

That ulterior motive being to SUGGEST QUITE PROFOUNDLY that 'not all terrorist acts' are cut + dry, black + white, them vs us. There are some lovely structural sub-plots going on, and some wicked betrayals. The film makes you feel, "Wait a minute, haven't I seen this sort of reporting of events before? On mainstream news?"

You think of 'spent assets' like Gareth Williams, Jean Charles de Menezes, Dr David Kelly and others, taken out and the scene CLEANED PROFESSIONALLY. Hell, you could think of the way all the steel was removed to China from the WTC crime scene of 9/11 Manhattan if you want. You could remind yourself that all the CCTV didn't work on the morning of 7/7 London. You could remember the deportation of cleric Abu Qatada. You could think of Tony Blair's landslide victory in 2005, if you want.

Or even the top of the Red London Bus peeling off during the Beijing Olympics handover ceremony in 2008, if you want. It's all there, in the film, like a battery-acid spectral flavour. Very odd, strange, unnerving dimension that lifts this brave film above the usual dross.

We see how everybody is expendable in CLEANSKIN's Grand Chess Game against You The People, and T.H.E.Y. (aka The Hierarchy Enslaving You) would have succeeded, too, if it weren't for the 'loyalty' of one lone nutter to his country. The film ends with a rain-soaked suicide by wrist slashing in the woods. You can't make this shit up.

BONUS MATERIAL: here's an interview with the film's director Hadi Hajaig.


waterkingdavid said...

Interesting that if one looks online one can find nothing about the bio of Hadig. Absolutely nothing at all about his background.

Mike Philbin said...

wonder what you're trying to imply - anyway, here's an interview that was fun to read.