A Most Wanted Man (15)

Directed by Anton Corbijn
Liverpool Picturehouse
From 12th September 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is a very thoughtful film, full of post 9/11 paranoia. Although slow- paced this adaptation of a John Le Carre novel (he also helps on the production side) it is nevertheless engrossing to watch.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in his final leading role before his sad and tragic demise, plays Gunther Bachmann, the head of a German secret intelligence unit based in Hamburg. His task is to track down an Al'Qaeda suspect Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) but has to contend with a meddlesome CIA agent, impressively portrayed by an almost unrecognisable Robin Wright.

In fact the film boasts a talented cast of actors, including a performance of a corrupt and slimy banker by Willem Dafoe, although the human rights lawyer (Rachel McAdams), who is challenging the lawmakers on behalf of Karpov, comes across as too glamorous.

As in keeping with director Anton Corbjin's pedigree as a photographer - who can ever forget the iconic Joy Division album cover set on a bridge in Manchester - the cinematography is notable, particularly the use of a beige colour tint.

You tend not to feel partisan about either the spies, intelligence agencies or American ne'er-do-wells - you don't feel any empathy towards them at all in their sordid dealings.

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