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The cold war is over, and secret agents are out of work
This entertaining poke at the cold war remnants is an interesting little romp that is at times very funny and others very clever and original.
Presented at the Toronto International Film Festival by director Ilkka Jarvilaturi, the film goes from one interesting locale to another as we jump from Hellsinki to New York to St. Petersburg. Bill Pullman and Irene Jacob are secret agents from opposite sides who have romantic entanglements as they try to determine just what they mean to each other while they still have a job to do.
A mysterious and coded porno tape is intercepted in transit and the CIA attempts to decode it while stalling for time. Complications arise in the plot which gives way to some innovative yet ultimately classical comic situations. I don't know whether it's the fault of the film or the theater's sound system but at times it was difficult to follow what was happening due to the heavy accents of the (presumably) Finnish actors. Bill Pullman's comic performance in the underrated "Zero Effect" is a good warm up for this similar but distinctly different character, and he is always a pleasure to watch. Bruno Kirby also provides a solid comic contribution as a disgruntled FBI operative and the stunningly beautiful Irene Jacob graces the screen in a demure yet intriguing role as the KGB agent looking to get ahead in the ranks.
Jarvilaturi was gracious enough to stick around for a Q&A after the film and spoke of mostly the music selections and their role in the film. One audience member pointed out a subtle yet relevant continuity error that they said they were already aware of and intended to fix. This is an indication of how fresh the film was and how the pressures of festival deadlines can affect the film.
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