That said, there are some good points. Form reinforces content: the film judiciously but sparingly integrates video footage or non-traditional blocking to create a voyeuristic mood. For instance, Claudia is filmed in her apartment through a door to another room. When she turns the corner, the camera remains stationary, waiting for her to return. In a scene at a soccer match, Claudia and Martin are shot in close up, but through a metal grate.
Most movies track actors around corners or only rarely let objects into the space between the camera and the actors, so these shots make viewers suddenly aware of the camera, as though we are not watching a movie but spying on real people. Of course, this isn't revolutionary: The Bling Ring did much the same thing earlier this summer. But it's used judiciously here, and so it subtly reinforces the experience of those being spied upon. Most of the time, we aren't even aware of the technology around us—until a sudden sound or movement or light or feeling pushes that which we've relegated to scenery into the front of our minds.
The film also uses multiplying split screens, cleverly pointing out that technology creates new problems while solving others. With the proliferation of information comes the need for focus. As a tragedy comes near, our anxiety increases because we don't know where to direct our attention. There are simply too many recordings and too much information. We can't process it quickly enough to act.
Closed Circuit's other smart choice was in refusing to glorify its two lead characters. Martin is a bit naïve, a bit in over his head. Claudia seems so concerned about not being slighted because she is a woman that she is blind to the ways in which she is more easily manipulated by those who know which buttons to push. Too often in films with a political setting, the moral compromises or failings of one side are glossed over as being insignificant compared to the opposition. They rarely say it overtly, but these films would have us say, "Hey, they may be liars and adulterers, but at least they're not committing real sins, like conspiracy and murder."
By contrast, Closed Circuit is true to life in this way: it reinforces the strong moral lesson that the effects of our wrongdoing don't always line up with the depravity of our motivations in committing them. People can be hurt as much by our individual greed, laziness, ambition, or pride as they are by our corporate nationalism or race hatred.
There comes a moment when the "heroes" openly contemplate simply capitulating to power so they can return to their lives of (relative) comfort and (relative) privilege. What saves them is less the courage of their convictions and more, perhaps, the residue of moral boundaries not yet been blurred into non-recognition. We're probably not inspired by these characters to be better people, but we are reminded through them of how much harder it is to stand by our principles in life's biggest moments when we haven't had much practice doing so day to day.