Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cinema Saturday

and now here's the movie review-y Cinema Saturday for today :)

The Debt 
Miramax Films
December 6, 2011
113 minutes; R

While The Debt is probably split fifty-fifty between the 'present' of 1997 that stars Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson and the 1965 past that stars Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington, watching it, it feels like most of the movie occurs in 1965.

Mirren plays the older version of the same character Chastain plays, Rachel Singer, a now  ex-Mossad agent. Rachel's daughter has written a book chronicling her mother, father (Wilkinson/Csokas) and David's (Worthington/Ciarán Hinds) mission to East Berlin to capture Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen), known as the 'Surgeon of Birkenau' a Nazi criminal. They were to bring him back to Israel to stand trial but as Sarah's book tells, Rachel shot and killed him as he was trying to escape.

With the story alternating (only a few times) between 1997 and 1965 we see what really happened then - not just the story that was told for Sarah's book - and the ramifications it has for, especially, Rachel and David today.

Sometimes movies that are told through two times (and progress both of them forward) can get confusing but The Debt stays with each timeline for quite a while and lets each part of the story be told (and well) before moving on to the next relevant piece of the puzzle (whether that be the same year, later on or thirty years later).

Someone who knows more about the time period (meaning just about anything - I know some very broad things but not enough to recognize if anything was factually incorrect or implausible) may find some fault with the film or how the story played out. Those like me who will just see what's happening for the fictional story that it is will, I believe, enjoy it quite a bit.

Jessica Chastain really deserves her name right up there alongside Helen Mirren's as star of this movie. I think she was in it more (if not much more) and did a fantastic job. She was goofy, hilarious and fantastic in The Help and she's serious, dramatic, (pretty tough) and fantastic here. I didn't even realise she was in this when I got it, but I know I'll be looking out for her in more films now!

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