This highly stylised drama is resolutely theatrical: with the exception of fleeting flashbacks and fantasy sequences, the action is confined to one austere interior, and revolves around a political interrogation. Stowe plays a bewildered, nameless children's author taken from her bed in the middle of the night to face questioning by a government official (Rickman). She stands accused of 'subliminal indoctrination' in her book 'Closet Land', which explores the liberating force of the imagination. But subversion is far from the writer's mind: under torture, her creations are shown to provide redemption from her traumatised childhood. Writer/director Bharadwaj's debut offers appropriately brutal, intense exchanges, with Rickman's commanding performance quite overshadowing Stowe. But such a stage-bound project demands a stronger script, while the lack of identifiable names and political targets compromises a powerful subject.
Cast and crew