The Debt (2010)

It was almost vindicated by seeking redemption if only the debt was paid earlier!


Miramax Films in association with Marv Films, Focus Features and Pioneer Films present…

Directed by John Madden (Layer Cake) who is known for his crime and heist films like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”. He worked with the Screenplay from BAFTA Winner Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Matthew Vaughn also a Director who in the past few years collaborates with Mark Millar and Bryan Singer for comic book films “Kick-Ass” and “X-Men: First Class” respectively which garnered superior box-office results together with the versatile Author, Writer and Producer Jane Goldman (Stardust).

Based on the Israeli film with the same title in the year 2007 which was Directed by Assaf Bernstein but with different patterns on how they compose the characters and for the story to take shape. Set in for the last 30 years which brought together 3 spies that needs to bring a certain “madman” into justice for his crimes committed against humanity.

East Berlin, 1965…

The responsibility for their country and their mission was the primary objective. Returning home hailed as heroes was etched in both the psychological and physical aspects to the supposedly troika of the Mossad led operation but this was only through mere stories and worse with false ones which lingered too long and  worse too deep! Setting things right, the once courageous agents hide in their shadows of hypocrisy though it was well meant to be great as characters were able to precisely relay by top of the line actors and actresses portraying their roles from two timelines.

Multi-Award Winner Helen Mirren (The Queen) is a distraught mother waiting for her daughter to finish the praises that only makes her more uncomfortable. She is Rachel Singer, you can see right away a scar on her right cheek indicating that somewhere along the way; fate was never kind to her! It was 1997; a book was being launched commemorating the story of 3 people who went out of their way to hunt down a Nazi criminal but not all things are what they seem. Fast rising star and Academy Award Nominee Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter) regarded as one of the best actresses to date brings another unforgettable performance as she portrays a younger Rachel doing her best to fulfill her mission…

Theatre Actor Ciaran Hinds (Road to Perdition) is one part of the given whole, while Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) plays the younger David Peretz, a man who lost his whole family in the Holocaust which makes him even more determined to be involved in this manhunt until everything went wrong.  Although he was instructed by someone higher to still be an actual hero for his country diligent his intentions maybe, unfortunately the uncompromising Team Leader Marton Csokas (Bourne Supremacy) whose name was Stefan Gold doesn’t seem to grasp his subordinates without getting himself too involved both in camaraderie and intimacy. Academy Award Nominee Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) proves all that when his regret gets the better of him and even sends his ex-wife to dance with the devil one more time!

Another villain on the run that needs to be mauled down is Jesper Christensen (The Interpreter) who last portrayed the infamous Mr. White of the Organization known as Quantum in the box-office hit “Casino Royale”. An infamous surgeon by the name of Dieter Voegel from Germany’s Third Reich who killed Jews in World War II by the use of pseudo-medical experimentation which were coerced to create better weapons and tactics to win the war wherein these actions led to the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics. Jesper together with the senior casts has time and again given well- performed characters that set the bar a little higher than the rest. His performance was absolutely invigoratingly wicked while setting his timid demeanor that hides a monster that has no conscience.

Typically adapted from a straightforward point of view making the dialogue and the performances grounded as should be. Frankly speaking, this was a star studded cast that had absolute grasp of the story being told though it may have been off put in terms of driving more into the predicament at hand which was redeeming themselves from a sham that is about to go out in the public. Another angle would be was the actual hunt of the German Doctor which should have been the fundamental thought of having the story zero in from the first place.

Having said, the connection with the original film comes into simple terms of changing the names and relationships but not with sequences that was crucial in relaying the premise which was not even compromised seeing that it had the same intention to make it surreal but at least it should have been focused on a different perspective which I have mentioned earlier. While the love triangle arc did not bother me at all but was it necessary? Since coming from its predecessor this was not even elaborated and the film still worked. Maybe something came out of the Writers brainstorming just to get a more dynamic approach for the characters to be able to extend the needed scenarios to prolong the story’s short running time while keeping pace the needed ambiguity and thrills transparently conveying the debt to be paid though it was just unfortunate that certain charges will have to apply in spite trying to correct their errors in an unchecked and unsettled predicament!


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