Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Debt

Movie Name: The Debt
Year of Release: 2010
Director: John Madden
Stars: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Martin Csokas, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jesper Christensen, Romi Aboulafia
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

John Madden is back, following the discrete reception of his previous two films, "Proof" and "Killshot". "The Debt" is a remake of an Israeli film and follows the story of three Mossad agents who are assigned the mission of finding the whereabouts of a dangerous Nazi criminal. The year is 1966 and the two men and one woman, capture their prey, however the results are not what they expect. The three of them agree to maintain the same story and for years their mission is praised and discussed, until 30 years later news come up that threaten all that these agents have built.
"The Debt" is a thriller that walks a familiar path - a truth that was never revealed, but that after years of being buried, threatens to destroy the lives of multiple people. The context of this film relates to a Nazi war criminal, hidden in East Berlin in 1966, which adds substantially to the danger quotient, yet somehow as the film progresses, the sense of danger or impending threat is never really felt. There are moral dilemmas that the characters possess, but it's easy to see where all of the characters lie as soon as the film introduces them (the ambitious driven one, the one with the ideology, and so forth). The best thing about the film ends up being the actors, particularly Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain and Jesper Christensen. Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain bring a depth and gravitas to their part, both playing the same character and both like a coherent extension of one another (though in terms of casting, the actors could not be more different between their younger and older counterparts, particularly Ciaran Hinds and Sam Worthington). A medium effort from an irregular director.