Storm (R15)

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Review byMatthew Turner26/03/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Well directed, emotionally engaging and intriguingly topical political thriller that exerts a powerful grip, thanks to a superb script and terrific performances from Kerry Fox and Anamaria Marinca.

What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, Storm stars Kerry Fox as Hannah Maynard, a prosecutor in the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague who's attempting to try Serbian general Goran Duric (Drazen Kuhn) for war crimes. However, when her star witness (Kresimir Mikic) perjures himself and then commits suicide, Hannah is forced to rethink the case and turns to the witness' sister, Mira (Anamaria Marinca), who turns out to have first-hand knowledge of an entirely different set of crimes.

With Hannah's support, Mira reluctantly agrees to testify, despite fears for both her own safety and that of her family. However, Hannah's problems are far from over; first someone leaks Mira's identity to the press and then she gets wind of a backroom deal to exclude the more controversial part of Mira's testimony.

The Good
Kerry Fox is excellent as Hannah and the film gets a lot of mileage out of the paranoid suspicion that she might have been set up to fail, since the old boys’ network is very much in evidence and Hannah has already been passed over for a long-overdue promotion. Marinca is equally good as Mira and there's a powerful bond between both actresses that is genuinely moving.

Schmid's direction is extremely assured, allowing the story to play out as a procedural thriller and commendably resisting the urge to include emotive (and, in other hands, doubtlessly exploitative) flashbacks. He also orchestrates several suspenseful sequences and creates an extremely tense atmosphere throughout.

The Great
The script also gains extra emotional weight from being so up-to-the-minute topical, particularly in the way in which it explores the clash between political realities and the need for real justice. As such, it's liable to induce the sort of rage you associate with the best of the political issue documentaries.

Worth seeing?
Storm is a superbly directed, powerfully gripping thriller with terrific performances from its two leads. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 15/12/2018 12:01

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