|Duration||1h 48m||Rating (UK)||15|
|Source of story||A book of the same name by John le Carré|
|Starring||Stellan Skarsgård, Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Saskia Reeves, Damian Lewis, Khalid Abdalla, Mark Gatiss, Jeremy Northam|
Elevator Pitch: A Russian money launderer who is involved in the setting up of an underworld bank in UK, with the assistance of numerous British glitterati, fears for his life and that of his family and so almost casually gets a British lecturer who is on holiday with his wife to help him get information to the British secret service. The lecturer and his wife are attempting to rebuild their relationship after his unfaithfulness. Hector, the MI6 man, despite opposition in London, mobilises a small team to recruit the Russian, who is guarded by a group of mafiosi making the task close to impossible. Perry, the lecturer, is motivated to help out possibly raising his status in the eyes of his wife.
Content: There is a rape apparently (it might have been cut from the version I saw) and at the beginnning the assassination of a family in a snowy forest. Thereafter we see the development of friendship between Perry and Dima, the Russian, helped by the fact that Perry’s wife goes home allowing him to enjoy expensive parties. Later Perry and Gail are interviewed by the MI6 man and as events begin to pan out there is an increasing level of tension as the good guys attempt to rescue the Russian from from under the eyes of the bad guys, their attempts being constantly sabotaged by the people back in London who are to be paid off once the bank is established.
A View: I have read the book, and this film follows it pretty well. Like much of the author’s work in this century he focuses on the unacceptable face of capitalism which continues to destroy people’s lives. It is an interesting change of tack, since in the past spies were motivated by idealism rather than money. This outing does not seem to have made any money maybe because it lacks any big shoot-outs or set pieces, but I think it is well worth the cost of a download.
Additional Info: Simon and Stephen Cornwell, the author’s sons are both listed as producers.