Movie Review | The Debt

“What if we could go back. Would it be different?”

Oh boy, have I got a movie recommendation for all of you! This weekend I went to see the movie “The Debt” stars Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Jesper Christensen, Marton Csokas, and Tom Wilkinson, among others.  The film is about a trio of secret agents whose mission is to hunt down the surgeon of Birkenau–“a man whose sadistic experiments left thousands disfigured or dead.”

Personally I love films that jump between present day and a time long ago (or in this case the 1960s).  The side-by-side plot lines intertwined excellently, showing how the relationship of Stefan, Rachel, and David unfolded during and after their time in Soviet-controlled East Berlin.

The film was a great combination of action, romance, and mystery simply due to the nature of the mission these young agents were on, and the ways in which they so seamlessly integrated themselves into society in order to not draw attention to themselves.

young Rachel, David, and Stefan training in their apartment

After the initial mission fails, the three struggle to keep their hostage alive in the confines of their small apartment. During the surgeons “feeding times” the bond between the three agents begins to wear thin, and his messages to them begin to infiltrate each agent’s mind, subsequently driving them mad.

When the film returns to “modern day” (1997) we see how drastically life has changed, and how secrets are much harder to keep than anyone could have anticipated.  After a member of the trio ends his own life, the mission restarts and the desire to rid the earth of the surgeon begins once again.

This film was an excellent emotional roller coaster.  I really loved that it wasn’t a typical film in the way that one can anticipate what is lying around every turn.  The way in which the movie was actually filmed was also really interesting to me.  The filters and angles used really gave the film some intrigue, even before the actors start talking.

Interestingly, I had not heard of this movie when I went to see it at the theater.  I simply was surfing the movie listings and saw the title and gave the trailer a quick preview.  So, for any of you who did see it already (despite its lack of advertising) what did you think?  Is anyone else as refreshed as I was to see a film that isn’t highly predictable like most movies these days? What are your thoughts on how semi-newbies Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain did at portraying Mossad secret agents? Let me know in the comments section!

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