In the shadow of the Cold War a letter from Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) an agency of the Soviet Union received by M16 stating the concern of Penkovsky about world safety and his anxiety about a nuclear war, So Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) a CIA Agent reached out to MI6 Agent Dickie Franks (Angus Wright) , who recruited British salesman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) to be their spy.Written by
Written and performed by James Morgan and Juliette Pochin
Published by Faber Music
Licensed courtesy of Morgan Pochin Music Productions See more »
So Glad Hollywood didn't ruin this.
The story has been well covered by others and I don't like repeating what's already been said.
The cinematography is nothing short of excellent. Moscow's overbearing and brooding atmosphere of the cold war is captured through the depiction of the brutalist architecture and ever present 'observers'. I loved the feeling of always being on guard whenever the Russian scenes were shown. England by contrast was grey and rainy and cold. Even though the last of summer is departing us I felt the wet chill when the characters ventured out in wet and cold streets of London.
I was happy that the movie was actually centered on the character of Greville Wynne and not the actual spying side of things. This indeed is where the real story is. He was the courier (the Title may give you a hint) and so the action and thrills other reviewers complain isn't there, didn't happen for this character. Unfortunately Hollywood all too often panders to these people who can't separate fact and fiction and have ruined so many 'based on true stories'. But this was an absolute gem to watch.
I always felt that Greville may have been somewhat naive in accepting this role and the end seems to bear that out. But as a courier, this was probably what saved him. Benedict Cumberbatch does his usual subtle brilliance and is well supported through out. I did feel that it could have been tighter and I am curious that the exchange and reasons behind it weren't included when the Government officials said he wasn't enough to swap for an important spy. Curious and it would have helped to round out the story. I also would have liked to know more about what business Greville Wynne actually did?
So a 7 from me, well acted, great scenery but a bit loose in some areas. More please!
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