Drama | Thriller
UK | Ireland
Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Aidan Gillen, Domhnall Gleeson, Brid Brennan, David Wilmot, Michael McElhatton, Stuart Graham, Martin McCann
Set in 1990s Belfast, an active member of the IRA (Andrea Riseborough) becomes an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son's welfare.
With films like "In the Name of the Father", and "Hunger", it is very hard for a film about the IRA to get people's attention. In order to do so, it has to be a great film. I've been meaning to watch "Shadow Dancer" for a couple years, and even though I don't know why it captured my attention, I kind of had high expectations. And you know, with high expectations usually come huge disappointments.
"Shadow Dancer" isn't neither a particularly interesting drama nor a successful thriller but at least it's slightly improved by the cast.
First things first, I don't know who labeled the film as a thriller, because it clearly isn't. The film indeed lacks any surprises and suspense and the story - which could have been very interesting - is remarkably predictable.
James Marsh's approach to the story was just wrong, and makes it boring, bland and emotionally sterile. The pace is also too slow for the film, and the characters are a real mess. The IRA characters are too clichéd, it's impossible to connected to any of them, therefore you won't even care about their outcome in the story.
But like I said before, the cast does a good job. Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen both give great performances as Colette, the member of the IRA, and Agent Mac, the MI5 agent. And the supporting cast does a fine job too.
I clearly was expecting too much from the director of "The Theory of Everything".