Monday, December 01, 2014

Murder on the Home Front (2013)

     Murder on the Home Front (2013) [D: Geoffrey Sax. Patrick Kennedy, Tamzin Merchant] Several murders of prostitutes almost lead to major miscarriage of justice, on grounds of National Security. MI5 protects the actual perp because he’s a code breaker. The fall guy ends up interned on the Isle of Man. Dr Collins, the new young forensic pathologist at first antagonises the police because he’s aware of current methods, unlike his boss, the previous pathologist. He hires Molly Cooper,  a reporter eager to participate in order to get ideas for detective stories, to be his assistant because she doesn’t flinch when he asks her to help out on the first autopsy.
     The false leads, three more murders, and the machinations of MI5 nicely complicate the plot, and as a murder puzzle this movie is above average. As a story about the effects of crime on people and their relationships, it’s merely average: Collins and Cooper are clearly attracted to each other, but either he’s too bashful or too aware of how romance might compromise their professional relationship. As an evocation of wartime London, the movie’s quite good. The director wanted a claustrophobic effect, of being hemmed in and navigating through a perilous labyrinth. This not only set the ambience of hidden dangers and treachery, it also made it easier to give us the flavour wartime grunge. As an exploration of the necessary evils of war the movie fails. It presents the ethical dilemma, but solves it rather too neatly. Maybe it was solved that neatly in real life.
      We enjoyed this movie. Above average. **½

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