Director: Anton Corbijn
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright and Rachel McAdams
Duration: 2 hr 1 min.
A country's security policy is, of course, at least to some extent to improve the safety of its citizens. But it is also - and perhaps primarily - politics, that is a tangle of hidden agendas and unholy alliances, which means that daggers bumped from behind. The purposes behind this rarely tolerate much daylight as far as they all go to expose. The risk is always that these maneuvers performed in the more or less lawless gloom sets in motion processes that in turn leads to increased risks. Poor security decreases safety.
And how do you tell the good from the bad when everything or almost everything takes place in secret? The answer is that one must enter and GROTA inside.
Thriller writer John le Carré, who not without effort, but not without success, has switched himself after the Cold War and the fall of communism, moving homely in these gray areas where bureaucrats and politicians are playing games with short-term and difficult to forecast consequences. "A Most Wanted Man," Anton Corbijn's film of le Carré's novel from 2008, set in a gray, worn and humid Hamburg, where branches of the German secret police are interested in and committed to a newly arrived Muslim. Restless and seemingly irrational, he moves to the big city shadows.
Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), which he increasingly wanted man named, was born and raised in Chechnya. He looks and behaves like a typical terrorist. What can he be up to? Data indicate that he is trying to approach the banker Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe). Down in a particularly bunker, surrounded by screens that plays moving images from strategically placed cameras, sitting spy chief Gunther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and put puzzles, patiently and methodically. His unit and its operations are so secret - it is suggested that one commits violence in the German constitution - that they officially do not exist.
Bachmann is thus something of a ghost, a ghost that reside under the earth. And to bring in Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead role (in the novel, the focus is more on the title sought immigrants) in the film that was the last he accomplished in his too short life is too - in more senses than one - to see a ghost, a ghost now only houses in cinema darkness and nowhere else. He looks anything but healthy and prosperous out. Pale, soft flesh, severely overweight.
But with each laborious breath and a cold penetrating intelligence, he creates a tragic George Smiley for our time. Excluded from all that warmth and community units is he married to a job that eats him up, chewing for excruciating and humiliating chew.
He wants to play gently, and he wants to maintain a degree of privacy while he would like to work higher up in the terrorist food chain. This allowed him to tune out certain promises to Karpovs leftist lawyer, Annabel (Rachel McAdams). But in the same way that others are helplessly at the mercy of him, he is himself completely dependent on his German bosses and American colleagues see it in much the same way as he. Bachmann for long, at times almost philosophical conversation about motivation and overall values with Martha from the American Embassy (Robin Wright). And no need to mean the end dare to trust.
Corbijn paints in a watered-down, almost color scheme with hints of toxic rescue yellow. The film is a landmark study in the maddeningly complex, rich in gloomy atmosphere. It will by no means be on all the threads available to it, but it gets good leverage of a formidable Philip Seymour Hoffman.