Mission just passable
Director: John Madden ( Shakespeare
Stars: Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen Fair return in spite of moderate interest rate THERE is much less going on than meets the eye in The Debt, a balloon- ish thriller puffed up by a lot of hot air and weighed down by just as much stone- cold self- importance.
Nevertheless, for all its flaws and indulgences, this remake of the Israeli box- office hit Ha- Hov is still capable of winding you up without working you over.
The film scurries about two distinct timeframes, always trying to look busier than it actually is.
In 1997, three former Mossad agents are still the toast of Israel for their daring Nazihunting exploits in East Germany in the 1960s. One of them, Rachel Singer ( played by Helen Mirren), has just been the reluctant subject of a glowing biography written by her daughter.
The other two, taciturn intel officer Stephan Gold ( Tom Wilkinson) and stoic academic David Peretz ( Ciaran Hinds), also appear to have negative reservations about all the positive publicity they’ve had over the years.
The sprawling middle act, staged at the scene of the trio’s most famous case, will explain why they are such reticent heroes.
One of Hitler’s favourite psychopathic doctors ( Jesper Christensen) is now working as a creepy GP in East Berlin.
As a plan to kidnap the mad medic is hatched, newbie spy Rachel ( played in this section by Jessica Chastain) is cooped up in a squalid squat with hard- arse pros Stephan ( Martin Csokas) and David ( Australia’s Sam Worthington).
Do the gender maths in this household and you can work out there will be sexual tension. Enough of it, in fact, to put an already- dangerous mission in extreme jeopardy.
This section of The Debt is undoubtedly as good as the picture gets. Chastain, already the breakout female actor of 2011 on the back of superlative displays in The Tree of Life and The Help, diligently keeps The Debt striding purposefully in her scenes. You sure as hell notice when she is not around, believe me, as the film’s plotting has a habit of breaking into a drunken stagger in her absence.
thedebt- movie. com/
Now showing State Cinema