“Fuck!” Günther shouted.
Anton Corbijn’s titular adaptation of John le Carré’s 2008 novel of the same title is a model of brilliant modern espionage thriller—with little shades of Cold War influences and a completely proper post-millennium issue. A Most Wanted Man is an obvious satire to American foreign intelligence service’s act—to intervene and steer other countries’ security system in a post 9/11 world—covered in a slow-starter thriller set in Hamburg, Germany, an important city in conjunction with the 9/11 tragedy.
In an American-driven Germany intelligence, Günther Bachman (PSH) is an exception. He’s a time bomb—calm but dangerous; he’s a method intelligence with broad relation to people and he’s also a warm leader to his unit. Günther deals with seemingly two unrelated cases at the same time. His first concern is a German-Muslim scholar, Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi ), whose charity Günther is to fund extremist activity; the second is a mysterious refugee named Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin)—a half Russian, a half Chechen-Muslim—appears in Hamburg following tortures by Russian. Issa is assisted by German lawyer Annabel Richter (McAdams) to claim funds his father had deposited for him in Hamburg bank owned by the late father of Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe).
In this world of wild espionage, no one gets out intact—even the innocence one. The thing is, we never know who the innocence ones are. To conclude everything in A Most Wanted Man, Günther plays a thorough long “game” to keep the Americans at the bay. With thrilling set ups and critical strategy, Günther puts everything into a climactic finale with all woes.
To find a fine line between two unrelated events and to cope up with American influence, A Most Wanted Man only needs the only Philip Seymour Hoffman in his last major role before he passed away. PSH is the main attraction of this slow-paced movie; his on-screen character plays a beautiful game with his strong persona. His character barely smiles, barely stares at one’s eyes, and barely looks ambitious; but his ambition lives inside and it might explode anytime.
How PSH handles his own character with a resonant performance is what means most in A Most Wanted Man—a bittersweet farewell to cinema by the master.
VERDICT: A complex satire wrapped with perplexing plot webs can only be more dangerous with PSH’s resonant performance.
A Most Wanted Man (2014)
Thriller Directed by: Anton Corbijn Written by: Andrew Bovell based on a novel by John le Carré Starred by: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Bruhl, Willem Dafoe, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Homayoun Ershadi Running Time: 122 mins Rated R for language