‘Red Riding Trilogy’ Simultaneously Captivates, Infuriates

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Much ink has been spilled about how HBO is at the forefront of made-for-TV filmmaking in the world, a fact already demonstrated this year by the brilliant biopic “Temple Grandin” and the stellar WWII mini-series, “The Pacific.” Yet Britain’s Channel 4 deserves just as much attention and praise for producing the “Red Riding” trilogy, which has been routinely compared to HBO’s classic series, “The Wire.”

“Red Riding” originally aired in the U.K. last March, and has been currently playing across America in a limited theatrical release. With their convoluted plotting, brutal intensity, and combined running time of nearly five hours, these three crime thrillers are best seen separately. But moviegoers with the ability to schedule three trips to the theater are well advised to do so, since each “Red Riding” installment is cinematically lensed for a big-screen canvas.

StarRead Matt Fagerholm’s full review of “Red Riding Trilogy” in our reviews section.

The trilogy is based on a quartet of novels by David Peace, which delved into the complex web of corruption surrounding the Yorkshire Ripper case in the 1970s and 80s. All three films are written by Tony Grisoni, who collaborated with director Terry Gilliam on two of his most divisive pictures, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Tideland.” For the most part, his adaptation is splendid at capturing the various protagonists’ paranoia as they search for a truth that often seems as elusive as Don Quixote’s “impossible dream” (oddly enough, Grisoni’s next project is Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”).

There are times when it seems like everyone on the West Yorkshire police force is harboring a terrible secret. The professional guise of their uniforms barely conceal the animalistic nature lurking within their power-hungry, money-grubbing souls, causing them to resemble wolves capable of devouring any young innocent. As in David Fincher’s “Zodiac,” the identity of the killer in “Red Riding” almost seems irrelevant in light of the head-swirling corruption that pervades the society in which he inhabits. A line assured to resonate in viewers’ heads is the repeated proclamation, “This is the North, where we do what we want!” The three films may vary in style, but the brooding tone remains consistent throughout.

‘The Red Riding Trilogy’ stars Andrew Garfield, Paddy Considine, David Morrissey, Mark Addy, Peter Mullan, Warren Clarke, Jim Carter, Sean Harris, Maxine Peake, Robert Sheehan, Rebecca Hall, Eddie Marsan and Sean Bean. It was written by Tony Grisoni and directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. It opened on March 12th at the Music Box. It is rated R.

StarContinue reading for Matt Fagerholm’s full “Red Riding Trilogy” review.

Red Riding 1974
Red Riding 1974
Photo credit: IFC Films

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