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"Close" (2019) Movie Review

Updated on December 17, 2021
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Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

I love when a film that's based on true events actually works side by side with the person it's based on. Jaquieline Davis is a bodyguard - an extremely skilled bodyguard - and the first ever woman bodyguard in the UK. While the film Close does use its own characters and story, it's entirely based on Jaquie's 30-plus-years in service. Director Vicky Jewson discussed in length with Jacquie what her experiences were and what the craziest things she had seen were. From rescuing children from hostage situations to protecting families, she'd literally seen it all. She was even author JK Rowling's personal bodyguard for four years. So how did the film hold up? From what I've read and seen, Close kept extremely close to reality.

The film follows Sam, a bodyguard who has just finished a mission and has been hired to protect Zoe, a bratty rich kid who just inherited her father's fortune. After transporting her from her family's mansion to a secure safe house, Sam thinks her job is done. But, that night, armed men hack into the security system and barge their way inside with the intent to kidnap or kill Zoe. Sam and Zoe seemingly escape, only to fall into the hands of the mysterious people who tried to capture her in the first place. Now, it's up to Sam to keep Zoe alive while they try to figure out who is behind it all.

The story itself was riveting. Vicky Jewson and Rupert Whitaker worked together on the script while Vicky directed. Their teamwork gave the film such fluidity, intensity, and emotional effectiveness. The only gripe I have is the lack of explanation in the end. There's a great twist in the end that should have led to the "great epiphany" as I like to call it but it's never truly explained who these people were or why they were after Zoe. Maybe that was the point? I'm sure that bodyguards don't always find out the why, they just do their jobs. But as far as the narrative goes, it would have been nice for the audience to be able to understand everything. The film also built upon a big question regarding Sam's daughter. Is she dead? If not, will Sam try to reconnect with her? We're led to believe several different things but we never find out the truth, which was aggravating.

Noomi Rapace delivered yet another solid performance as Sam the bodyguard. I believe her work and effort did Jacquie justice. She was always on point, never faltered, and gave us a strong female figure to root for.

The fight choreography was outstanding. It all seemed so real, which is what any director should go for, especially when you're basing your film on a real person. Fantastic work, crew.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the film. It's always a delight to watch Noomi work as she never ceases to amaze me. Despite the narrative issues, Close was near-perfect and should definitely be seen. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

© 2019 Nathan Jasper


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