Micky is an avid photographer enjoying her nightly social revelry in London until she bumps into an old friend from her childhood. Do is almost the opposite of Micky; she is quiet and reserved, but the pair immediately click as if no time had passed since they last saw each other. A passion that has long laid dormant is re-ignited between them despite the disapproval of those around them but little do they know that their star-crossed relationship is set to end in tragedy when they escape to the French villa where they had spent their summers together as kids. A fire breaks out causing the death of Do and some severe burns and amnesia for Micky. While she struggles to recall memories from her life, she is forced to re-learn her relationships with friends, family and former lovers while trying to make sense of who she is at the same time, with only the word of the people around her to guide her.
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A riveting performance by Helen McCrory holds our attention even if this dramatic thriller suffers from efficient but bland direction and a script that fails to dig very far beneath the surface. The role is a gift for any actress: a strong, intelligent and sexy middle-aged woman. And she's so good that she makes it worth seeing even when the plot becomes rather corny and implausible.
McCrory plays top British aerospace expert Frankie, who is relentlessly pursued by one of her students, the much-younger Algerian Kahil (Oudghiri). Her father (Cranham), a fellow aircraft expert, warns her against falling into a torrid romance, but she can't resist. And soon her colleagues are whispering behind her back that she may be compromising her work on military drone technology by sleeping with a Muslim. This of course puts her back up, but it also sparks some nagging doubts, so she begins to look into Kahil's story. And some irregularities make her wonder if he might be using her for information.
The way the film plays on our own prejudices and fears is very clever, using a hot current issue like military drones. And the plot races along so quickly that we barely have time to register that it's not actually holding water. Small problems (like the fact that a top military contractor wouldn't password-protect her laptop) multiply as the story progresses from a relatively superficial romance into more sinister suspicion and then an all-out political thriller. But since everything is based around suspicions and subterfuge, it begins to look a bit silly.
Continue reading: Flying Blind Review
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