An intense hostage-taking story, “6 Days” is based on a real event harking back to 1980, when dissident Iranians seized the Iranian Embassy on London. They were making a point about treatment of Arab minorities in Iran, and they threatened to kill hostages if certain prisoners were not freed.

Director Toa Fraser keeps the total situation taut, as the drama unfolds with various characters doing their bit in involvements on both sides. Ben Turner performs with precision as the rebel leader. On the government side is Mark Strong playing a negotiator, who is put in the position of having to stall to resolve the situation but also having to lie against his moral instincts.

The press is represented by Abbie Cornish as an on-the-scene reporter for the BBC. The British Home Secretary, who has his ideas about how things should proceed, is played by the excellent actor Tim Pigott-Smith, who died recently.

The film plays out rather conventionally, with the tension gradually intensified toward the inevitable climax. One can have sympathy for the terrorists who belief in their cause, and also for the predicament into which they have gotten themselves. One also, of course, sympathizes with the terrified hostages afraid of being shot. As we watch, we know that the ending must turn out to be violent. Reviewed August 28, 2017.

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