The Debt Movie Review
admovieso | April 6, 2012 | No comments
“The Debt”, one of the movies coming soon, is better than average thriller that suffers from a near fatal flow. There’s lots of suspense and surprising twists. The main characters are good. The problem is the period in which “The Debt” is set. Director John Madden has half of this story about chasing down a Holocaust villain who resembles Dr. Mengele in 1997. This means that the Mengeles cohort is so old that the last scene must take place in a nursing home. Why didn’t Madden move the action back to the ’60s or ‘70s?
This upcoming movie will be opening December 29th after it debuts at Deauville and Toronto. It’s a Miramax film and the top star is Helen Mirren. The Debt, written by Jane Goodman, Matthew Vaughan and Peter Straughan is based on a movie entitled “Ha-Hov” – an Israeli movie that is known mostly in Israel. It looks as if the characters in the new movie are more sympathetic than the characters in Ha-Hov.
At first this box office movie is confusing. The action moves back and forth from Berlin in 1966 to Tel Aviv in 1997. After a while the viewer will figure out that the three main characters are agents of Mossad who, during the ‘50s, capture a war criminal, played by Jesper Christensen. This criminal is a Mengele like German doctor known to have performed horrible experiments on those held in the concentration camps. Since he is in East Berlin the agents must smuggle everyone into West Berlin.
Jessica Chastain plays Rachel and Sam Worthington plays David. They are attempting to catch the doctor, who has a gynecology practice, by playing a couple with who suffer from infertility.
Soon a sexual triangle is formed between David, who is in love with Rachel and another man named Stefan who is much more assertive than David and making a move on Rachel. All three have suffered from numerous problems over the years as a result of their own Holocaust memories and their own families’ Holocaust tragedies at the hands of the Nazis.
Thirty-one years have passed and Stefan, played by Tom Willkinson, is married to Rachel, played by Helen Mirren. Those two as well as David are looked at as heroes in Israel. The daughter of Stefan and Rachel has written a book about their exploits and when David suddenly reappears on the scene, there is a crisis as all three have failed to mention information about their situation during the Cold War.
The agents live not only in a time when they act as agents but, because of the horrors of the Holocaust, they are also emotionally tied to their work. The doctor is a study in the possible evil of human nature. He shows know repentance for his terrible deeds.
Many aspects of “The Debt” are quite spectacular. The work done on location in Tel Aviv, Budapest, and London fits together well. Cinematographer Ben Davis does a beautiful job with the sets by Jim Clay. Thomas Newton’s music sets the stage for much suspense.
Other than for the puzzling choice of the decade in which “The Debt” was filmed, this is a good thriller on the new movies list. Don’t miss it.