Film Review: Flying Blind (2012)

Another of the few Helen McCrory films I’d yet to see, Flying Blind is probably a minor key entry in her catalogue

“I don’t wiggle”

Katarzyna Klimkiewicz’s Flying Blind dates back to 2012 and so pretty much counts as vintage McCrory. And as a BBC co-production, this low-budget piece set in an appealing-looking Bristol very much has a TV drama feel to it, rather than a full-on feature film.

Which isn’t so much a criticism more a realignment of expectation. McCrory plays Frankie, a hot shot aeronautics expert and part-time lecturer in her 40s, who responds passionately to the interests of Kahil, a fit young Algerian guy who bumps into her outside of college.

And as an intense affair blossoms, alarm bells start ringing for the MOD contacts for whom Frankie works and as Kahil’s immigration status is questioned and the suspicions of terrorist activity thoroughly heightened, we’re moved into thriller territory, albeit of the muted kind.

The dialogue doesn’t really do much and there’s not much of a world fleshed out around Frankie and Kahil to engage us fully. Kenneth Cranham pops up as her father, a former engineer who worked on Concorde, but the more complex issues of how Islamophobia and liberal guilt intersect, never mind the moral implications of drone warfare, are largely sidestepped.

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