Seeing this film brought back to me memories of 9/11. The first thing I remember of that morning was seeing TV pictures of an airplane flying into a large building, and my immediate thoughts "Must be a preview for a new Tom Clancy film".
This was not a Tom Clancy film. This was certainly not a British version of "The Sum Of All Fears". The typical Tom Clancy film or novel has a relatively small cast, a linear plot, and usually some sort of resolution. This film had neither. Sure, what I saw directly on screen was a small cast, a plot, and a vague resolution, but, like 9/11, the point was that reality was so much larger and more complex.
I work in systems planning, and the reality of the disaster preparation exercise, and the disaster itself, is painfully obvious. It's impossible to prepare for a disaster like this, nor will it be any more possible to deal with this when it happens.
From the argument between the police (Not enough is being done to prepare) and the politicians (Giving everybody on the tube a gasmask would cause panic), to the constant loudspeaker announcements (You are in no danger to your health, but don't go home before we decontaminate you), and (Don't eat, drink, or smoke before we decontaminate you), I was on edge during the entire film. Not the slightest urge to channel surf.
This film was 90 minutes in length. It could have been twice that, and still not shown all the possible details. Instead, it left enough unsaid to allow each of us to imagine the details, each of us in our own way. That made it so much more real to me, than any Tom Clancy film.
I lived in London once, and just off the Edgeware Road. And I took the train from Waterloo station many times. As I watched Dirty War, I kept telling myself that this is only fiction. Right now.
Allah and Jehovah willing, this film will remain fiction, and sometime in 20 or 30 years, my nephews may watch this film and remember the early 21st Century, and the panic we felt too much. Hopefully to the same degree as I feel currently, when viewing memorabilia of the Cold War with the Evil Communist Regime of the mid-20th Century, and remember "Drop and cover" exercises in school.