The Debt, with Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Marton Csokas, Jessica Chastain & Jesper Christensen. John Madden (of Shakespeare in Love & Her Majesty Mrs. Brown), director. I do like a good thriller on occasion. It washes all the warm & fuzzy out of my head. This film reminded me so much of the thrillers of the 1970′s.
Such a cast can’t go unnoticed & can’t go wrong.
With double, triple flashbacks this thriller is set in East Berlin in the 1960′s. It’s quite surprising how the flashes were done & it will slightly confuse you. But not too much. Be patient with it all.
Since I’m not an insider, I would say the film’s story is very loosely based on the Mossad capture of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann in 1960 – or something close to it. A hunt & capture of old Nazis may be a basis for the story but the personal drama & interaction between the characters is definitely the focus.
I’ve whined before, that I’m a bit tired of the whole Nazi saga & its aftermath but good films keep popping up & this definitely isn’t a documentary. So, I guess, we’ll keep watching them until kingdom come.
Three Israeli agents are played by six people. The young & old versions. Mirren is most excellent & but Worthington still needs to take a few acting lessons. Get that face moving a bit more. These two are complimented by the others, so one doesn’t notice Worthington’s inadequacies (did I say that?).
Csokas stole the show, in my opinion. He reminds me of a young Raul Julia. Christensen, as the ancient Nazi, is subtly stimulating & yet robotic, in his depiction of evil. I’m not convinced he’s evil; yet he’s supposed to be ungodly & the film pivots on this presumption. It’s a weakness that I could see. A loose brick.
I’m also not convinced that I was East Berlin during the 1960′s. So – the estimated 20 million Dollar budget didn’t actually go into the appearance of the movie. It’s still a good film. (What do I know, I still remember when the Sound of Music had the all-time big budget.)
I recommend the film because one must never miss a Mirren motion picture. Ever.
You won’t be disappointed with the action & the acting.