**If you haven’t seen The Shadow Line, and its currently available to watch on iPlayer in full, then don’t read as some major plot spoilers will be brought to light and anyone planning to watch the series who has yet to do so will sour on me and all bloggers discussing the show with the fury of a thousand suns. You have been warned. Also, if you’ve not watched, I haven’t spent much time explaining what happens, who it happens to and why it happens, so I reckon you’ll be super-lost and really not enjoy the experience both of reading this nor of watching the series after reading this.**
Redbelt – ***1/2
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alice Braga, Tim Allen, Rodrigo Santoro, Emily Mortimer, Joe Mantegna, Ricky Jay, Max Martini
Written and Directed by David Mamet
David Mamet is undoubtedly a great playwright. Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo will stand up among the true greats of Western theatre for many years to come. On film though, he’s never gained the consistency of his stage work. The best filmic work from Mamet is his first work, House of Games, a ridiculously over-plotted but hugely enjoyable game about deceit. The absolute best thing with his mark on its Glengarry, directed by James Foley and all the better for it.
Redbelt is his latest to be both written and directed by the man himself and it contains all the joys and misgivings of his other dual-controlled efforts in the past. The story is basically about a struggling Jiu Jitsu teacher (played really well by Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is having money troubles. We then meet a rolling set of characters, all of whom have complicatedly hidden agendas, and we carry on towards a convoluted but controlled ending.