Wednesday 17 September 2014

Review: A Most Wanted Man

World of Blackout Film Review

A Most Wanted Man Poster

A Most Wanted Man
Cert: 15 / 122 mins / Dir. Anton Corbijn
WoB Rating: 4/7

Another mixed bag of style and substance from the pen of Le Carré, A Most Wanted Man has plenty of individually great moments, but left me struggling to say I'd enjoyed the film. Much like the last outing from the stable, the film doesn't waste a line of needless exposition where a shot of a central character sighing and staring at a wall for forty five seconds will do instead.

Luckily, the plot - following a German black-ops anti-terrorist organisation monitoring the recruitment and funding of extremist Islamist terror cells - is fairly linear this time (and despite my gripe in the previous paragraph, it's nowhere near as infuriatingly self-indulgent as TTSS), but while the story is pleasingly interwoven, some of the performances - as excellent as they are - seem over-egged, somehow. I can't decide whether it's Corbijn's direction or Andrew Bovell's screenplay, but something was holding me back from feeling any real connection to the characters.

A relatively straightforward spy-tale, handled as if it's more baffling than it actually is, A Most Wanted Man seems like it would benefit from being a TV series, rather than the two hours of furtive looks and scowling we get here. Luckily, Philip Seymour Hoffman's interpretation of German spymaster, Günther Bachmann, seems to have him hailing from Swansea; so that never gets dull.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
It's along those lines, yeah.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
For the most part, I think I did.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Probably, but that's not my call to make.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Home or cinema; either should work.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
I won't.

Will I watch it again?
At some point.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Didn't hear one.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
How come when Annabel is cycling through the park, all the leaves are green and on the trees, but the shot that's intercut features Günther standing in a different area (not in that park, admittedly) among brown leaves all over the path? Visual symbolism or a sloppy shooting schedule?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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