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The Debt

Posted on the 04 September 2011 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
The DebtIn 1966 a trio of Mossad agents (Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Martin Csokas) has been assigned to East Berlin to capture Dieter Vogel, the Nazi war criminal who was also known as the Butcher of Birkenau, and extradite him so he can be returned to Israel and tried. As they work out their plan, a love triangle ensues, and when they finally catch him, they must employ unethical measures for the sake of their country. 30 years later, as one of the members (Worthington, now played by Ciarán Hinds) commits suicide and the truth begins to surface, the remaining members (now Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson) must take action to ensure their lie remains buried. "The Debt" is an engaging thriller by John Madden, that employs a confusing past and present narrative which it juggles quite well (it is even hard to write a synopsis about). When the film finally does come together and we are only left with the resolution in the present, it is only then that the film begins to feel standard. The scenes in 1966 East Berlin with Chastain, Worthington, and Csokas are riveting, and the romantic triangle adds tension and elevates the material above basic thriller fodder. Strangely however the 1997 scenes with Mirren and Wilkinson seem routine and less compelling, although both stars contribute their usual wonderful performance. John Madden is a competent director who deftly weaves a tangled web here, and Jessica Chastain makes it clear that this is her summer.

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