Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators ... See full summary »
Samuel L. Jackson,
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John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor with a nefarious past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the Panamanian president and a huge debt. The mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal. But what the two do is concoct a tremendous fictional tale about former mercenaries who are ready to topple the current government and are willing to work with Britain and the US to do so. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are no heroes or villains in "The Tailor of Panama," only exploiters and victims. Some may be turned off by the cynical tone of the film. For example, Andy Osnard, the British secret agent, played by Pierce Brosnan (who else?) is a scheming sociopath, not a patriotic hero. The title character, Harry Pendel, played by Geoffrey Rush, is a liar and an ex-convict. Don't be put off by these flawed characters, though. In the great tradition of John LeCarre's characters, these devious, selfish people are endlessly interesting -- and believable. I suspect that those who did not like this film reacted as they did because of a lack of heroes and because the outcome of the machinations it depicts are sadly grotesque. Nevertheless, this is the thinking person's spy movie. Highly recommended, 8 out of 10.
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