Behind the cryptic title 6 Days hides a solid hostage situation thriller based on true events. We will be following the Iranian Embassy siege that happened back in 1980 and lasted, you guessed it, 6 days. The action starts literally during the first minute of the movie as several terrorists take the embassy in London. After the furious start, we settle into a slower but still solid tempo. The movie focuses on two aspects of the siege, the negotiations and the preparations for the storming of the embassy. I loved the straightforward style of storytelling here. Each new character and each new location get their own little text telling us more about them.
The negotiators are met with an impossible situation. They know they can’t meet the terrorist’s demands and they know the terrorists will start killing hostages if their demands are not met. And the fact that all of this really happened adds a lot of intensity to the atmosphere. It’s not like we’re watching The Negotiator or White House Down. 6 Days is not some American action movie with bombastic and melodramatic scenes. It focuses on the facts and maintains a rather casual atmosphere throughout.
Add to this a relatively short runtime of ninety minutes and you got yourself a movie you’re surely going to finish in one sitting. The production values are good and the same goes for the overall visual style of the movie. You can see this is not a blockbuster but it’s certainly not some cheap B movie. I almost forgot to mention the whole media angle. We’ll be able to see the beginnings of media sensationalism taking hold in modern media. Although I will admit that BBC kept its standards throughout all this time.
Six masked men slowly make their way toward the Iranian Embassy in London in the early hours of the morning. Then suddenly they rush in and take everyone at the embassy hostage. They barricade all the doors and windows, using the building’s natural sturdiness to their advantage. They also demand to talk to someone in the government because they have a list of demands. And so the stand-off begins…
Apart from phenomenal Mark Strong playing the lead negotiator Max Vernon, 6 Days also features excellent Jamie Bell as SAS commander Rusty Firmin and Abbie Cornish as Kate Adie. Jamie Bell is such an underrated actor. He appears to be able to play absolutely anyone, a sign of true talent and skill. And you just know that Mark Strong is going to nail his role of this constantly worried negotiator with the whole world resting on his shoulders. Another interesting aspect of the movie 6 Days is the whole political climate of that time. The backdoor deals, ultimatums, and other crap.
On top of all of that, we have the fact that Margaret Thatcher just took office and that she wants to prove just how tough she is on crime. And while her horrific, amoral, and disgusting policies destroyed the working class in England, maybe she was right on this front. I would love to elaborate but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like 6 Days, I suggest you check out the French masterpiece The Assault about another hostage situation. That movie is also based on true events.
Director: Toa Fraser
Writers: Glenn Standring, Rusty Firmin
Cast: Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Abbie Cornish, Martin Shaw, Ben Turner, Emun Elliott
Fun Facts: Weapons SAS members in the movie 6 Days were using were: HK MP-5 9mm submachine gun and Browning Hi-Power 9mm.