Mis­sion just pass­able

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

Di­rec­tor: John Mad­den ( Shake­speare

in Love)

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

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