A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man ★★★★

A genuine knockout, this is one of the finest espionage thrillers I've seen in years, maybe since Munich. Whilst some aspects didn't ring completely true for me (particularly the dinosaur character portrayed by PSH, and even the film's climax), for the most part this is an enormously effective drama. Corbijn, Hamburg, Le Carre and an excellent cast ensemble spearheaded by the fateful final performance of a screen legend is an awesome recipe for success, and this film just oozes class. It blows away other Le Carre adaptations I have seen, and also nudges ahead as my favourite Corbijn to date.

The film has to juggle a lot of complex contemporary real-life issues whilst still finding its own cinematic voice, which isn't an easy thing to do. For the most part, I actually appreciated how objective this film was (even with Le Carre's well publicised critique of the US post 9/11), with every voice in the political spectrum getting a little bit of limelight here and there, and I felt that different pockets within the audience around me responded to that. Le Carre has been out of the game for a while, and it certainly shows at points, but for the most part I found myself hoping that Corbijn-Le Carre becomes a regular thing, as in many ways it is a match made in heaven.

A few reviewers have mentioned the final scene with PSH as being a fitting send off for the actor in general (at least as a lead anyway), but to be honest I was so absorbed in his character that I entirely forgot about the actor involved. Despite being a massive fan and his death coming only 6 months ago, I was still lost in his character, which is a fitting testament to his acting skill. Fooling me as an audience member even from beyond the grave. Bravo!

Some film productions fulfill all internal and external expectations, and this is one. A near faultless low-budget espionage thriller.

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