The last time I recall seeing Helen Mirren in a movie was Red with Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker. Helen Mirren returns to the big screen as a spy yet again in The Debt but this is a totally different movie, there are no laughs in this flick. This intensely serious thriller benefits from an incredibly well written script and phenomenal acting. Jesper Christensen, Mr. White from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace steals every scene he is in, delivering an Oscar worthy performance.
The film bounces between the present and the late fifties, Jessica Chastain is cast as the younger version of Rachel, Mirren’s character. The two actresses do a great job of coordinating their performances. At times you almost forget there are two different actresses playing the part.
This spy thriller has almost a heist film vibe to it but don’t expect car chases or explosions. The film is dialog heavy and relies on the script not special effects to carry the film. Thought somewhat predictable at times there are some entertaining plot twists and storylines.
Fans of political thrillers and espionage films will eat this flick up.
Synopsis: Even the best secret agents carry a debt from a past mission. Rachel Singer must now face up to hers…
Filmed on location in Tel Aviv, the U.K., and Budapest, the espionage thriller The Debt is directed by Academy Award nominee John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). The screenplay, by Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan, is adapted from the 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov [The Debt]. At the 2011 Beaune International Thriller Film Festival, The Debt was honored with the Special Police [Jury] Prize.
The story begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (played by Academy Award winner Helen Mirren) and Stephan (two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds of the upcomingTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). All three have been venerated for decades by Israel because of the secret mission that they embarked on for their country back in 1965-1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain [The Tree of Life, The Help], Marton Csokas [The Lord of the Rings, Dream House], and Sam Worthington [Avatar, Clash of the Titans]) tracked down Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace), the feared Surgeon of Birkenau, in East Berlin. While Rachel found herself grappling with romantic feelings during the mission, the net around Vogel was tightened by using her as bait.
At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team’s mission was accomplished – or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations that compel Rachel to take matters into her own hands.
The Debt is available on Blu-Ray™, Dvd, Digital Download and On-Demand from Universal Studios Home Entertainment on December 6, 2011