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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It could be better

5/10
Author: Marcio F Cuzziol from Sao Paulo, Brazil
27 March 2002

Ordinary political thriller. Swedish representative is sent to an imaginary country in South America where a revolution is erupting. His assignment: to organize and mediate a conference between the government and the revolutionaries. Reading it doesn't seem bad, but watching... things just don't work, it is boring most time. Non-charismatic Thomas Hellberg plays an unsympathetic role, a "perfect" match for the hero. And the good supporting cast can't help. A Swedish production, oddly shot in Portugal, aiming the international market.

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Realistic but so what?

5/10
Author: kestrelgrey from England
20 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought this film was quite realistic in it's portrayal of a diplomat hopelessly out of his depth, singlehandedly trying to change matters in a banana republic.

Right up until the end I expected the diplomat to become an unwilling guerrilla leader. The film even seemed to be setting things up to go that way when the diplomat's team gunned down the President's only son, which I'm sure in many films would have been a plot device to give the diplomat no choice but to take up the gun and go on the run with his girl.

Even at the end, with all the rebel leaders and the diplomat's girl facing imminent execution, I was expecting the diplomat to start sorting out the problems Rambo style and save the day. Maybe this all shows that I have watched too many Hollywood style endings and in that sense, the ending, with the diplomat outmanoeuvred and impotent to change things, was very realistic.

It would have been simple enough to argue that the diplomat had been framed into making certain things happen, but actually at every turn the government of the country tried to stop him and encourage him to leave, but he was having none of it.

I thought the camera work was very good as well as the scene dressing, with the exception that while the police all seemed to have clean, modern natty looking jeeps to drive around in, the vehicles being used by both the diplomat and the chief of police were seemingly older, dirtier and uglier. I also thought all the actors played their roles and delivered their lines well and realistically, with even the broken English, as most of the cast didn't speak English as a first language, coming across as realistic for a banana republic with English being used as a lingua franca (the film was produced by Swedes, and shot in Portugal). Even the portrayal of the diplomat as usually drenched in sweat was realistic, as you might expect a man taken from Scandanavia for a pressured assignment in the tropics to be, particularly as it seems he was expected to wear a suit all the time.

THe film focused around the activity of the diplomat, played by Thomas Hellberg, and he certainly was the person who got the most screen time, but Christopher Plummer, a much better known star, got top billing as the chief of police.

However, all this said, I'm afraid that at the end of the day the film just wasn't that interesting and there was a big element of so what?

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