Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Bridge Of Spies

It's fine dining cinema. Made delectable by the Masterchef himself.

4 stars

Mini Review:

If there were Michelin stars offered to cinema, this cold war docu-drama would win every star. Steven Spielberg lays out a feast - unhurried storytelling, understated acting, superb comic touches - with the ever dependable Tom Hanks. It's a world of spies in the time of no-trust recreated superbly.

Main Review:

Tom Hanks works in a law office that will remind you of your dad (or your grandfather's) office. Typewriters, files, dark wood paneled doors... And you are hooked. 

A non-descript man going about the city painting is being followed by a swarm of men who look like undercover cops. He seems harmless and yet you are shown - without any fuss - the reason why he's being followed. You are immediately drawn into the world of spies...

Tom Hanks is forced to be legal counsel to the man (Mark Rylance*, in a performance so awesome, every line on his face ought to be nominated for an Oscar). Meanwhile there is an American spy plane that is...

Steven Spielberg recreates the Wall, the fear of being in East Germany, the Soviet distrust, the anxiety on the faces of the people, the cold war and its effect on the everyday American life so effortlessly, you are transported to that world. 

What made my jaw drop was the portrayal of young people at that time. The thugs on the cold streets, the innocent children at school compelled to learn about the bomb, the young people separated by a wall being built through the city, the need to be patriotic, the idea of killing yourself for your nation, the earnest terrified workforce... The generation that was growing up in the shadow of hate and mistrust is so beautifully shown, your heart will well up with empathy. 

Yes, you do wish there was more to the end, more than just explanation as to what happened to the spies, the lawyer, the negotiator after the event. But the movie is already two hours and forty five minutes long. And I suppose the Masterchef always leaves the diners hankering for more.


*I knew I had seen the face somewhere, but could not remember it. Thank goodness for google. Mark Rylance starred in a weird movie called The Institute Benjamenta where he joins to become a butler, and discovers odd secrets which he must learn to keep...

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