Bleak and all-too-real, 'Red Road' takes an unsettling look at a world populated with CCTV cameras, where the past is always waiting to catch up with you.
Jackie (Dickie) works a CCTV operator - a voyeur of other people's lives because she refuses to live her own. From the off we get the very clear impression that she is carrying a lot of baggage. We don't know what this baggage is nor its real consequences in her life.
Then one day a shock spotting on her CCTV monitor board brings us closer to her truths. A man, who she claims should be in prison, is wandering around her city - Glasgow. Jackie becomes obsessed with monitoring the actions of this man, Clyde (Curran). She refuses to let him out of her sight during her working hours, often failing to spot other crimes and neglecting her responsibilities.
Then she decides to take things a step further, as we see her enter his world. She infiltrates his group of friends, frequents his local and watches his every move. All the time she seems more consumed by bitterness and hatred than any kind of fear, as she enters shady housing estates and derelict areas of the city in her pursuit of this man.
The sense of tension builds as Jackie comes face-to-face with Clyde, teasing him, arousing his curiosity and enticing him to seek her out. At this point, it is still unclear what has led to this chain of events. Clues don't seem to add up and her brazenness seems misplaced.
The bleak reality of Jackie's miserable existence and tainted life is played out beautifully in grubby bedsits, grimy city streets and the wrong side of the tracks in Glasgow. Coupled with the grainy CCTV footage that explores the world she is obsessed with in further detail, it makes for often disconcerting viewing. Tony Curran is as convincing as he possibly could be as the shady Clyde, who has yet to pay the full price for his crimes, ably supported by Kate Dickie, as woman obsessed with revenge.
An unsettling portrait of the way we live today, 'Red Road' is disturbing in its reality but also strangely comforting in its portrayal of the world watching us.