Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Government Inspector (2005)

Shame on you Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell et al. Blood on your hands.

Now that's out of the way....

The Government Inspector, Peter Kosminsky's 2005 dramatisation of the life and death of Dr David Kelly, the former UN weapons inspector who, in the wake of the WMD fiasco, became something of a weapon himself, deployed by both government and the BBC. It ultimately led, just two days after his appearance at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, to his death and presumed suicide on Harrowden Hill on the evening of the 17th July 2003.

Kosminsky's film is an absorbing righteous yell of anger that grips like a vice from start to finish. Rightly and respectfully, Kosminsky doesn't dwell on the reasons or indeed the nature of Kelly's death (choosing to ignore the 'conspiracy theories' borne from the "insufficient evidence" many people, including medics feel in regards to the findings of the Hutton Inquiry) instead it depicts a solid account of what we know alongside circumstantial evidence for the viewer to consider. Whatever your view, I would argue the ultimate conclusion is a feeling of disgust, guilt and the certainty that the events were a horrible tragedy.

Mark Rylance as Dr David Kelly

Jonathan Cake on the right as Alistair Campbell, 
with James Larkin as Blair

The two main protagonists are, perhaps rightly, from opposite or opposing sides; David Kelly, of course, played by Mark Rylance and Alistair Campbell, Blair's director of communications and the man it is alleged 'sexed up' a dossier about Iraq's weapons capabilities, played here by Jonathan Cake.  Both very different men, from very different walks of life, they are very different performances; Cake is a swaggering, macho man of often barely contained anger, whereas Rylance's Kelly is a bemused, quiet and methodical individual, a David slowly and surely crucified before the Goliaths of New Labour. It's a fantastic performance and a world away from the last thing I saw him in (Intimacy) Contained, subtle and sublimely still, its genius underplaying and powerfully moving. It quite rightly gained him a BAFTA for Best Actor in 2005, alongside one for Kosminsky for Best Writer and one for Best Single Drama too.

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