While we at FilmyTown celebrate our own Bollywood retro gems, thought it would be great to check some Hollywood ones who will pass the muster, though did not dig too far back unlike their Bollywood counterparts cause what we were looking for fell straight into the lap, not too old, this Israeli drama film was released in 2010, but every bit what we were searching for. The Debt movie review…
Such movies do get talked about however it appears to have had a quite existence in our press as despite being movie buffs never came across this one. Like many this movie too must have given India a miss for a theatrical release.
The Debt has great content, super star-cast of some Hollywood regulars and veterans and of course good acting and screenplay. For once Hollywood does not talk about America or the bravado of their heroes-superheroes rather it deals with a sensitive subject of the Holocaust, it’s about the Jews and above all Israel and it’s secret service Mossad which we hear is the best in the world, thus the movie would also be interesting, well that would be an understatement.
This film does not show the German atrocities which is now well documented in docu-dramas. It is about the time a few years after the Second World war when Israel had declared itself as the Jewish state and sent for all the Jews to settle in Israel and in the sixties were looking out for Hitler’s lieutenants who had perpetrated the atrocities (1965 in this case) and quietly sending Mossad agents to eliminate or bring them back alive.
In this film they are sent to East Berlin to capture a former Nazi doctor (played by Jesper Christensen last seen as Mr. White in the Bond series) who carried out medical experiments in concentration camps.
The movie starts with a very innocuous event like a book launch of the events of the time the book is written by one of the agent’s daughter, in 1995, some 30 years after the events described in the book. Leading the band of protagonist is Helen Mirren, she shares her role with Jessica Chastain, with the two actresses portraying the character at different phases of her life.
Similarly with the other male leads too Sam Worthington and Ciarán Hinds playing David Peretz and Marton Csokas and Tom Wilkinson playing Stephan Gold they being the three sent on the mission.
When one feels that the movie is drawing to its logical conclusion, however you see that it is still 47 minutes adrift of the end on the movie timeline, you are dumbstruck as to where will it lead. That’s when the movie actually takes off.
The Debt though seems about revenge, it is beyond it, even bordering the spiritual. After many twists to the end as the tail does wiggle and gives you a whiplash. Its about a debt one has to pay for their own actions.
As mentioned earlier, it does not show the German atrocities which is now well documented in docu-dramas and only some photos are shown as being viewed the the characters as point of reference only. Going into revealing any further will spoil the satisfaction of watching the movie.
Directed astutely by John Madden who has also directed movies like Shakespeare in Love and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Latest streaming entrant on Netflix I am sure you gonna like this one.
– Review by PAWAN GUPTA
Cast of The Debt:
Tom Wilkinson as Stefan Gold in 1997
Helen Mirren as Rachel Singer in 1997
Ciarán Hinds as David Peretz in 1997
Jessica Chastain as Rachel Singer in 1965-70
Sam Worthington as David Peretz in 1965-70
Marton Csokas as Stefan Gold in 1965-1970
Jesper Christensen as Dieter Vogel
Romi Aboulafia as Sarah Gold
Yonatan Uziel as Mossad Agent
Credits of The Debt:
Production company – Marv Films
Produced by Matthew Vaughn, Kris Thykier
Based on Ha-Hov by Assaf Bernstein, Ido Rosenblum
Directed by John Madden
Screenplay by Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematographer – Ben Davis
Edited by Alexander Berner
Running time – 113 minutes