‘I hope in my heart that one day the prime minister will be able to say sorry, that one day he (Tony Blair) will say sorry to the families of the bereaved,’ – Reg Keys
The lies, betrayal and blood on the hands of Tony Blair are well documented but the actual lives of those affected by the war in Iraq are rarely focused on. Recent BBC drama Reg seeks to redress that balance by telling the story of Reg Keys.
Keys is the father of British serviceman killed during the Iraq war. He subsequently stood in the 2005 general election in Tony Blair’s constituency in an attempt to have the then Prime Minister removed from his position. Reg is not a subtle film but such an emotive subject doesn’t call for subtlety.
Tim Roth plays Reg Keys and is as excellent as you would expect from such an experienced actor, although it is odd to hear him doing a Brummie accent. At least his equal however is Anna Maxwell Martin as Keys wife, in a vulnerable and realistic portrayal.
Writer Jimmy McGovern is known for his on the nose social commentary but in the case of Tony Blair and the Iraq war, the time for subliminal vagueness is over. The war in Iraq is constantly being reappraised to the point that history is already starting to view it as the unforgivable mistake that it was. Reg helps to cement and justify this opinion.
In the midst of a Tory government doing their best to dismantle the BBC and both left wingers and right wingers hilariously labelling the beeb as biased, Reg is a timely reminder of how powerful and vital the BBC can be.