A Most Wanted Man (2014)





Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Derya Alabora, Daniel Brühl, Nina Hoss, Herbert Grönemeyer, Martin Wuttke, Kostja Ullmann, Homayoun Ershadi, Mehdi Dehbi Vicky Krieps, Rainer Bock, Charlotte Schwab


When a half-Chechen, half-Russian, brutally tortured immigrant (Grigoriy Dobrygin) turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune, both German and US security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity - oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist?


Based on John le Carrè's novel of the same name, A Most Wanted Man is a thoughtful spy thriller that includes one of the greatest, and sadly the last of Philip Seymour Hoffman's performances.

Instead of the classic action spy story, the film faces with an introspective view on espionage, showing a reconstruction of the investigation, allowing the viewer to know how security agencies work, and which methods spies use to reach to their purpose - methods that sometimes encroach on illegality.

Despite the slow pacing, director Anton Corbijn perfectly manages to keep the tension high, and the audience engaged. Like the spy, the viewer will follow the investigation step by step, getting more and more engaged as the film goes on.

Alongside the tension filled plot, there is a witty dialogue - I would have appreciated some subs because the accents and all spoken dialogue were a bit too difficult to follow. Among the characters, Hoffman's is the layered and most interesting one. The relationship between the young lawyer played by Rachel McAdams and the Chechen Issa could have been interesting if better developed.

The outstanding cinematography by Benoît Delhomme delivers a wide range of feelings. The musical score by Herbert Grönemeyer is great.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is huge. Scruffy and sweaty - probably due to his malaise -, he looks more than comfortable in the main character's shoes. Every single scene he is in shines like the sun.
Willem Dafoe steals every scene he's in - except those shared with Hoffman. Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Daniel Brühl are decent in their roles. I was delighted to see Nina Hoss; unfortunately her performance wasn't up to my excitement.


Dieter Mohr: After 24 hours of questioning, Karpov confessed to taking part in attacks on gas pipelines, transport, infrastructure, police stations.
Irna Frey: After 24 hours of Russian questioning, any one of us would admit to anything.

1 comment :

  1. I wouldn't call it one of PSH's best performances, but he was very good. I thought he was hamstrung because the movie plodded along a bit too slowly. Still liked it, though.