"This Is The North, We Do What We Want"
prisrob | New England USA | 09/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
'This Is The North, We Do What We Want', so says the policeman in West Yorkshire, England, town of Leeds. What we have here is a trilogy, 3 films of the times, 1974, 1980, and 1983 in this town and the tale of murders of young girls.
Most of the trilogy is about the corrupt police, botched investigations, the brutality and seemingly senseless mayhem that occurs during these nine years. In 1974, it seems the Ripper, aka 'Jack the Ripper' was out and about committing rape and murder of young girls, The public becomes distraught at the inept police force, but they are unable to move on it because of fear. A young reporter Eddie Dunford played by Andrew Garfield, takes on this world. From what Dunford can see, the police are too compromised to catch anyone. And it seems so corrupt that they influence everyone around them.
In '1980', the Ripper is still at work. The Home Office sends an inspector from Manchester to find the killer and clean up the mess in the police department. Peter Hunter played by Paddy Considine is an experienced detective. However, he has personal and family issues that keep interfering. The 'Ripper; is caught but disclaims knowledge of certain murders, which it appears the police were committing under the guise of the Ripper. Peter Hunter is caught in this maze and does not fare well.
In 'Red Riding: 1983' the deaths of the past decade sickens one of the police higher-ups, Maurice Jobson played by David Morrissey. He has been in on the fix all along, and undergoes a gradual awakening. He is joined in the fight by a shabby lawyer, John Piggott, played by Mark Addy, a hard drinking failure who is stricken by his own family connection to the Yorkshire violence. Into this mix and seen throughout the three films, but unable to reveal what he knows, we finally hear the hustler, B.J., played by Robert Sheehan. He witnessed some of the crimes, and narrates some surprises. The cycle of murder and corruption is brought to a close.
The first part of the trilogy was difficult for me to understand, some of the accents were difficult to follow and the storyline did not make sense. It took the second trilogy 1980 and 1983 to clarify the stories. Some of the same players follow throughout all of the trilogy. The greed, brutality and corruption is difficult to take at times. Could this really occur in any town, at any time? The direction and acting are exceptional. Each of the trilogies has a new director, but somehow the storyline was kept very recognizable. The innocents are given their day, and the true heroes are found.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 09-19-10
Three Memorable Films Make One Unforgettable Viewing Experie
K. Harris | Albuquerque, NM | 09/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have eagerly awaited the arrival of the "Red Riding" trilogy on DVD for some time. Something about the concept and execution of this project appealed to me in theory, and I must say that I was not let down! An ambitious British TV adaptation of several David Peace novels, the trilogy is filmed as three separate works with three separate directors. Several characters overlap and unify the films which center on a rural police force that has its own way of getting things done. Hard-edged and brutal, each chapter set in a different year (1974, 1980 and 1983) can stand alone--but together, this is a remarkable and affecting piece of work.
In "1974," Andrew Garfield (soon to be Spider-Man) plays a fledgling crime reporter hoping to make his name investigating a trio of local child murders. An affair with one victim's mother and some misdirection from local law enforcement lead him to confront a prominent citizen. He soon becomes the hunted as he doesn't know when to stop his search for the truth--and he may have to pay the ultimate price. In "1980," Paddy Considine plays a by-the-books cop brought in to re-investigate a serial killer case that has gone on for far too long. When it appears that one of the victims is not a part of the chain, this leads to another line of inquiry that may implicate several officers in police misconduct. And in "1983," David Morrissey (who has played a small role in the other films) steps to the forefront as lead inspector when another child abduction echoes the case that was solved in "1974." Reopening the case upsets old festering wounds and soon the truth about the crimes, cover-ups, and corruptions of the last 10 years come to a heated conclusion.
Garfield and Considine are terrific in "1974" and "1980" respectively. Each represent the moral center of a conspiracy that neither can control--and each is ultimately undone by the pursuit of truth. Both of these strong films would rate as 4 stars for me. It is in "1983," however, where things really start to get tied up and the knowledge of the previous films really enhance the series overall. Morrissey is absolutely devastating dealing with his own past corruption. As the facts about the child abductions and murders start to become clear, and several minor characters step up in surprising ways, the "Red Riding" trilogy becomes an extremely powerful examination of redemption. The 5 star finale left me thoroughly upset and disturbed--and the haunting tone of the film's final sequences will stay with me for a long time. An absolute recommendation, this is thought-provoking and adult entertainment--an experiment that worked exceedingly well. Two good films and one great one are made even better when seen in their totality! Don't miss it. KGHarris, 9/10."