A ‘tense but seemingly banal drama’ – Reality review | Films | Entertainment

The truth is a whole lot stranger than fiction in this tense but seemingly banal drama set almost entirely in asuburban bungalow.

The dialogue is based on a verbatim transcript of a recorded encounter between two FBI officers and a young woman who has a name that no screenwriter would have had the gall to invent.

The real Reality Winner (played here by a brilliant Sydney Sweeney) was a translator working for a National Security Agency contractor, who found herself at the centre of the scandal involving Russia’s reality twisting attempts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

The action begins with the 25-year-old returning to her suburban street in Augusta to find two men (Marchánt Davis and Josh Hamilton) waiting for her on her lawn.

They tell her they are from the FBI and are keen to know if she has any pets in her house. After revealing she has a nervous dog and a very large cat, the affable pair ask her if she was surprised to see them.

Apparently, they have a warrant to search her house and have received a report that she may have “mishandled” sensitive government documents.

Reality seems mildly surprised but very eager to help. However, as more agents arrive, we begin to notice the strained expressions on her face.

And as the agents engage her in seemingly mundane chats about pets, Crossfit injuries and, bizarrely, Reality’s collection of firearms (which includes a pink machine gun) the pressure begins to mount.

Could their friendliness be a tactic to get her to confess?

I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s clear Reality is far from a winner.

Reality, Cert 12A, In cinemas now

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