A woman scorned is a dangerous thing. They will break you, hurt you and leave you for dead in the most unimaginable ways possible. In fact, it might be best for most men to sleep underneath their covers with a flashlight, a security system and no contact with the outside world. It probably wouldn’t help. So it makes only sense that one would make films that deal with this subject. However, they had to make it believable even if a scorned woman sometimes does the unthinkable.
A plethora of tv monitors fill into the screen and we see Jackie (played by Kate Dickie ) fulfilling her role as a CCTV operator by watching a particular part of the Scotland streets. She watches for crimes or other point of interest as part of her workday. On the outside, her life is very simple and she keeps to herself except to meet a guy every couple of weeks or going to see her parents for special occasions. One day while on the job she spots a man, one that she never expected to see ever again or at least so soon. That man is Clyde Henderson (played by Tony Curran ). From what we can find out Clyde was in jail for a crime and is out on good behavior. We suspect that it has something to with Jackie but we aren’t sure on the role she plays. As the story unfolds and Jackie gets to the point where she confronts him, more of the story is given away until we reach a shocking finale that tells it all.
Ever nearly fall asleep in a movie twenty minutes in? Have you ever been so uninterested in the characters that once you got to the end, you really didn’t care if they set a building on fire with the pages of their script? (By the way, that’s not the ending) I unfortunately felt like this. I wanted to care about Jackie. I wanted to be interested in the plot as Jackie infiltrates the life of Clyde Henderson by getting into a party he was at and then getting even closer to him. I wanted to be shocked by the climatic scene and find out exactly what everybody’s role was in this film. I wasn’t. In fact I guessed most of what was going on in the first half hour. The acting wasn’t bad including the supporting roles of Clyde’s roommates Stevie and April (played by Martin Compston & Nathalie Press ) but the movie felt very drawn out and the satsfying conclusion was missing.
The video is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and it spends an awful lot of time in the dark. Bad lighting, okay color usage and the list goes on. It’s okay. Nothing is really strong or weak about the presentation, it just feels very ordinary. I understand the movie is not supposedly to be a visual show but when the material is so drawn out, you hope for something more.
English Dolby Digital 5.1 is provided as the main mix (English 2.0 is also included). The sound is okay at best. Traditionally, I don’t have an issue with English or Scottish accents. I find them charming and interesting like any accent that isn’t Southern based. However, the quality of sound wasn’t very good and I had to turn on subtitles for most of the film. Thankfully subtitles are provided in English or French.
- Automatic Trailers: The only extra found on this disc is a trailer for Shake Hands with the Devil, an extremely depressing looking movie. Please note that I received the Warner Bros copy to review not the Tartan copy that appears to have gotten much better reviews. It included a short film called The Wasp which was supposed to be very decent along with a DTS 5.1 mix.
As mentioned, I received the lesser copy of Red Road to review. (Sometimes it happens when you write for a website that resides in another country (Canada)) However, that aside the same movie was on both discs. DVD reviews should be about the movie itself first and everything else last. The movie moves at a snail’s pace and not in a good way. By the time you reach a conclusion, you might be wondering instead huh, that’s it? Some of the acting is decent, mainly reaching out from the supporting cast. Pacing is a huge concern and I think if it had moved faster, I would have had a better time with it even with the same ending. Quick note, this movie is not for children, there are a couple of sex scenes (one of which is very graphic) along with the usual dose of bad language. So please pardon me while I go down another street, and pass up the Red Road.
- DVDVerdict.com – Roy Hrab thinks Red Road is a raw, strongly-acted, and captivating thriller with style to burn
- DooYoo.co.Uk – thedevilinme thinks “The best sex is often the most taboo and here we have a film and director who are taking that head on in a very brave project.”