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Shadow Dancer [DVD] [2012]


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Product details

  • Actors: Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, Aidan Gillen, Domhnall Gleeson
  • Directors: James Marsh
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009007ZSQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,235 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Single mother Collette McVeigh is a Republican living in Belfast with her mother and hardliner IRA brothers. When she is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA bomb plot in London, an MI5 officer (Mac) offers her a choice: lose everything and go to prison for 25 years or return to Belfast to spy on her own family.

With her son's life in her hands, Collette chooses to place her trust in Mac and return home, but when her brothers' secret operation is ambushed, suspicions of an informant are raised and Collette finds both herself, and her family, in grave danger.

Special Features:

  • The World of Shadow Dancer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Commentary by director James Marsh and writer Tom Bradby

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By All of them Witches TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
Essentially a tale of 'motherhood' in difficult circumstances set against the backdrop of a Republican family in 1990's Belfast. Thankfully made by an Anglo/Irish/European collaboration thus sparing us from the American trend for glamourisation, misrepresentation and oversimplification of the political situation which existed within this enviroment.
It's both character and story driven so not full of explosions and shootouts but a story of a battle of wills mind and souls, infiltration, double crosses and sacrifice. Very good performances all round, Andrea Riseborough plays it very subtle and appears younger and more vulnerable in her role as an IRA operative and single mother than ever in contrast to many of the more empowered female roles she has become associated with. Clive Owen plays Clive Owen a role that he always does very well and all the other characters within the film add some interest and weight to the proceedings.
Of course there will always be some trade-off in the small detail for the benefit of constructing a film but none of this devalued the film for me. I rather liked the greyness and gloominess that ran the entire length of it; true that it is best viewed with the subtitles on due to the sometimes inaudible dialogue and whilst that will deter some I thought it added to the atmosphere the film created, the furtiveness and snatched conversations added to the sense of distrust and paranoia.
I really liked the way the story developed as well and thought the conclusion was extremely good. A really fine effort.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Boudu on 6 Oct. 2012
Format: DVD
I haven't read the source book, but the film reminded me of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' which I enjoyed, as it is also about the search for an informer. The film begins with Colette McVeigh, a young mother, intercepted in London after she plants a bomb & the complex relationship that grows between her and her MI5 handler, Mac, who allows emotions to cloud his judgement. I could believe in the complexity of their relationship and I thought the ending of the film, honest & unsentimental.

The film is about mothers & sacrifice, the clash between the loyalty to your family & the loyalty to a cause/a group, the IRA another type of enclosed family (the personal & political); surveillance & paranoia; how a (terrorist) war is not just about acts of violence but is, in fact, about information, infiltrating the enemy or rooting out informers (like Ben MacIntyre's work on spies in the Second World War). I may be mistaken but I gather the IRA's effectiveness had been reduced due to British counter-intelligence's success in infiltrating their organisation.

I thought the film was interesting in showing the similarities between the IRA & MI5: both secretive organisations, one using safe houses/the other hotels, run with military precision (McMullen is the mirror image of Mac) but how even its participants are often kept out of the loop & are pawns in a greater game (Mac the MI5 handler, Colette). Everyone is playing a different angle.

'Shadow Dancer' is filmed through the prisms of grey with Colette (Riseborough in a quiet understated role befitting of a woman who must always be on her guard) wearing a red jacket, the exterior symbol of her guilt/confusion & as a constant target.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Datta TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Feb. 2013
Format: DVD
Shadow Dancer is set in the 90s. The film starts in the 1970s, where a young girl experiences the troubles affecting Northern Ireland. The brother is shot dead. The film moves forward to 1993. The young girl identity becomes clear, as she is a single mother and known to be a member of the IRA. Intelligence has been gathered by tracking the movements. She has been found planting a bomb in the London Underground. M15 operative played by Clive Owen gives the troubled Collette a choice, lose everything and go to prison for 25 years or return to Belfast by spying on the family. Will she act as an informant? What are the implications of this? I do not want to go into too many details, as it would act as a spoiler.

The film unfolds a realistic, hollowing and depressing picture of the Northern Ireland society in the 1990s. There are no frantic car chases and violence. It is an emotional and gritty piece of film-making. It is an intelligent written thriller. The film tackles the area about the conflicts engulfing Northern Ireland. I prefer a thriller where a storyline develops and we learn about the nature of humanity. This adds depth to the film. Shadow Dancer is a realistic picture of the subject area tackled in the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy on 30 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
Collette (Andrea Riseborough) is part of the IRA. She is nabbed by MI5 and is coerced into being an informant. Mac (Clive Owen) is her contact who works hard to protect her from his own people who want to renege on their deal and hang her out to dry.

The film was interesting and the acting was good, unfortunately the characters and action lacked being entertaining. This is a film that would have an Irish appeal but the lack of grit makes it a drama and not an action thriller.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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