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 criminal past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the canal administrator, and a huge debt. The spy's mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal, but he's really in business for himself, blackmailing the tailor into spinning a fantastic tale about the canal being sold to China and former mercenaries ready to topple the current government. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The exterior of the home of Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush) and Louisa Pendel (Jamie Lee Curtis) is in residential Panama, but the minute you walk across the threshold, one is on an Ardmore Studios sound stage in Ireland. The same applies to the exterior of Harry's tailor shop and Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan)'s apartment. These were three of the main sets constructed at the Ardmore Studios in the Wicklow countryside near Dublin, Ireland. Moreover, there was also an elaborate Pentagon Control Room set built there complete with dozens of then state of the art IBM computers. See more »
When Andy's car gets stuck in thick black mud, he knocks Harry down. But when Harry arrives home, he has only a minor orange stain on one knee. See more »
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard:
Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
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If you understand irony, this film should be a real riotous laugh straight through. It is possibly one of the most brilliant movies so far this millennium, outright disrespectful of the "spy" theme: Brosnan's degenerated, decadent b*****d spy Osnard is just the way one would picture James Bond in real life, had the latter not been so awfully loyal. Actually, Osnard is James Bond minus loyalty and with his self-confidence, decadence and sexism turned up a couple of notches. A brilliant character, brilliantly acted. Another fantastic actor is the amazing Geoffrey Rush in the role as the Tailor of Panama, Harry Pendel.
The story is absolutely fascinating, one of the most clever and witty stories to emerge in a long while - the Tailor of Panama reluctantly becomes a spy and conjures up non-existent government plots to sell the Panama Canal to the Chinese, which makes the English and the Americans (portrayed as a bunch of idiots with delusions of grandeur and as militaristic blow-hards with victory as the only goal) react aggressively.
It is important that one understands that this film is serious in one respect only: its comedy. Don't see this expecting to see a thrilling spy-movie. It isn't, though I find the scope of the film thrilling. It's more of a comedy, and if you can't see that when the American general with tears in his eyes blurts: "There is a star missing from the American flag!", then you're not really equipped for this kind of film. The reason I'm writing this is that some reviewers have found the movie to be silly... which is just what one would think if one didn't get it.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
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