‘Citadel’ combines urban paranoia with urban decay

- Advertisement -



Citadel

Written and directed by Ciaran Foy

Ireland/UK, 2012

Every time you walk down a dark alleyway, you’ve felt it. Every time you’ve waited for the bus late at night, you’ve felt it too. Every unsolicited knock on the door, tap on your shoulder, distant chorus of laughter, and sudden hush of silence, you’ve felt that feeling course through your body: that intrinsic and deep-seated fear of the unknown and the unseen. In an urban setting, these feelings are ever-present and persistent, and in Ciaran Foy’s Citadel, they’re expertly amplified and actualized.

The story follows a man named Tommy (Aneurin Barnard), a single father inflicted with a severe case of agoraphobia after his wife (Amy Shiels), who was pregnant at the time, was attacked and killed by a gang of hooded delinquents. At his wife’s funeral, the priest (James Cosmo) warns Tommy that his baby daughter is in imminent danger, and that the gang, whom are from mysterious origins, is intent on taking her away. With the help of a well-meaning nurse (Wunmi Mosaku), Tommy resolves to leave the dangerous confines of the city, until a series of events leads him back to the same tower block where his wife was killed.

The best way to describe Citadel is to say it’s a cross between Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby and Daniel Barber’s Harry Brown. Combining the urban paranoia of the former with the urban decay of the latter, the film hits on a nerve that seems a bit far-fetched on the surface, but feels all too real and believable. Yes, there are fictitious elements thrown into the film, but they all represent tangible and real-world fears, a concept that’s incorporated into the film’s mythos. Consequently, the tension is deliberate and insidious, building each scene with a careful accumulation of dread until it reaches a precipice of anticipation (this is helped immensely by Mr. Barnard wonderfully tortured performance).

From the onset, it’s clear that Citadel has a biting point to make; as well as portraying the feral hoodlums as demons, both literally and as a metaphor for Tommy’s inner conflict, a stronger connection to the surrounding infrastructure can be made. Almost every major scene of tension in the movie is directly caused from a failure of social facilities or amenities; the faulty lifts, the periodic blackouts, the poor phone reception, the understaffed hospices, the trifle public transport system.

The film makes the point that, yes, the hooded demons are criminals, but the socio-economic situation they inhabit (or lack thereof) is something that shouldn’t be ignored as a facilitator of their actions. Furthermore, there’s a broader claim about how both the building and its denizens were forsaken by our collective refusal to address the social problems we, in part, helped create. In Field of Dreams, it said, “if you build it, they will come”. Citadel is what happens when you build it and then abandon them.

– Justin Li






Add Comment


10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
7 Different Types of Roller Coasters
7 Surprising Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Playing Video Games
Females acting
7 Different Types of Acting Methods (Plus Acting Classes for Beginner Actors)
Accordion
17 Different Types of Accordion
16 Different Types of Apples
Dough used in baking
20 Different Types of Dough
20 Different Types of Raspberries
15 Different Types of Pasta Sauce
19 Different Types of Construction Vehicles
Fire Truck with Warm Yellow Lights
9 Different Types of Fire Trucks
22 Different Types of Forklifts for Indoor and Outdoor Work
Trains
17 Different Types of Trains
54 Different Types of Sports Played (Individual and Team Sports)
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
16 Different Types of Technology
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Camera Stores for the Perfect Pics