Two couples chat beside a suburban pool, but the unease mounts as they reluctantly turn to a recent incident involving their young kids.
Writer / director Michael Bentham’s bold debut feature opens with bravado on a couple shooting a sex tape. We next see Danny and Emily relaxing by their pool as another couple Joel and Bek turn up unannounced. The pleasantries that follow are of the kind that pass between good friends, but the tension is palpable as the conversation awkwardly turns to a disturbing allegation involving their children which has allegedly left the 4-yr-old daughter of Danny and Emily traumatised. ‘Allegedly’, because none can agree as to exactly what happened. It’s not the first time this has been discussed - this time they hope to find an amicable resolution, but nobody is prepared to give any ground and as the small talk turns to vicious accusations and veiled threats the couples’ behaviour becomes more like that of the children they are trying to protect.
Thematically similar to Yasmina Reza’s play God of Carnage (which was adapted for the screen by Roman Polanski in 2011) but a far weightier proposition, Disclosure is a masterclass in micro budget film making. Unfolding for the most part in real time, it’s driven by a searing script, which builds layer upon layer of complexity as lifestyle differences, career motivations, porn addiction, historical incest and blackmail all get thrown into the mix. An enquiring camera makes the most of the single location and captures every twitch and tell from a committed cast as they tear into the material – of the four leads Geraldine Hakewill as Bek puts in a particularly fine and fierce performance. Based on real events and with hot button subject matter that has made headline news in the UK recently, the film can also be seen as a microcosm of wider issues including #metoo and the relationship between press and politics. Bound to provoke heated discussion wherever it plays, this film will stick with you long after the credits have rolled.