Detainment is a film that takes you on an emotional roller-coaster. It tells a story which is based on the true story of the James Bulger case, a 2-year-old boy who was brutally murdered by two ten-year-old boys; Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. James was at New Strand Shopping Centre with his mother when he was led away by the boys who abducted, tortured him and then killed him.
Vincent Lambe brings you to the forefront of the aftermath of what happened when James was found. The two boys are taken in for questioning and what proceeds after that is honestly mind-blowing. With Vincent Lambe using the real interview transcripts in this case, everything just feels too real, which we are sure was Lambe’s intention. You can feel your heart being ripped from four different directions as you think of that little boy, taken in a way that nobody deserves.
Ely Solan is breathtaking as Jon. He starts off defiant when he is questioned by the police, repeatedly denying his role in James Bulger’s death until he starts to break down, tugging at his mother to leave the room. The scene where he tugs at his mother is extremely important, it reminds you of young babies and toddlers tugging on their mothers to carry them or to make something better when something has gone bad. It symbolizes the fact that Jon is just a child and your mind begins to spin again, how can two children commit an unspeakable crime?
Leon Hughes is very convincing as Robert. He denies everything and although he answers the police’s questions with quick remarks, he doesn’t seem to understand the severity of what has happened and what he and Jon have done.
It has been 25 years since the murder of James Bulger but it is a case that we will NEVER forget. This is the film that will make you hold your children’s hands a little tighter and hold them for a second longer. Vincent Lambe did an amazing job with Detainment, opening our eyes and hearts again to this case. James Bulger’s memory will ALWAYS live on.