A Most Wanted Man
A Most Wanted Man is an absorbing and intelligent thriller based on the novel by John Le Carré. A tale of espionage set in Hamburg, the story revolves around a secret organisation whose objective it is to monitor suspected terrorists. Led by overweight, chain-smoking, German intelligence agent Günther Bachmann, the organisation’s small group of spies are honing in on Issa Karpov, a suspicious-looking young Chechen Muslim who has illegally entered the country after escaping torture in Russia. He in turn seeks the help of a Annabel Richter, a lawyer who specialises in asylum cases. Issa wants Annabel to help him access a large sum of money left to him by his father, which he wants to donate to a series of Muslim charities fronted by influential Islamic philanthropist Dr Faisal Abdullah. However, once the United States enter the stage, themselves keeping an eye on Abdullah due to sums of money given to his charities disappearing that they suspect have gone to fund terrorist organisations, it is then that Annabel realises that she has become involved in something much more sinister than initially thought.
The story, inspired by the true account of Turkish citizen and German resident Murat Kurnaz, is a disturbing and thought-provoking study of the conflicting and often corrupt politics that govern the war on terror – in the name of “keeping the world a safer place” – as is quipped several times during the film.
Elegantly directed by Anton Corbijn (The American), the film features beautiful cinematography in muted, cool hues that echo the relentless, cold conspiring of shady organisations, shot by Benoît Delhomme, and a wonderful performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last roles as the no-nonsense Günther Bachmann. Also great are Willem Dafoe as the bank executive who is forced into cooperating with Günther in aiding the capture of timid, young Issa, played by up-and-coming Russian actor Grigoriy Dobrygin. Rachel McAdams is pretty and determined as Annabel, although her German accent is not always convincing and Robin Wright does a subtle and interesting turn as a US ambassador in Hamburg who is hiding more than she’s letting on.
Overall, the film should generally please those of us looking for an intelligent alternative to giant warring robots and superheroes for a night out at the cinema.
A Most Wanted Man is released nationwide on 12th September 2014.
Watch the trailer for A Most Wanted Man here: