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September 14, 2024 – 1:06 am | No Comment

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The Debt

Submitted by MBergeron on August 31, 2024 – 2:49 pmOne Comment

The Debt just explodes before your eyes. It’s a movie that combines espionage, time dynamics, and star turn performances amped up to a satisfying degree. The Debt starts in the late 90s with Helen Mirren attending the debut event of her daughter’s new book, a tome that describes in detail her mother’s part in apprehending a Nazi war criminal 1960s East Berlin.

Mom was a covert agent in Mossad along with two other characters played by Ciaran Hinds and Tom Wilkinson. The story shifts to East Berlin with the three older thesps now played as young adults by Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington and Marton Csokas. Obviously Chastain is the young Mirren but it takes time to determine whether Worthington or Csokas are supposed to be Wilkinson and Hinds respectively. And that’s a good thing because once that ambiguity is resolved we move into another gray area, this time involving the veracity of the events depicted in the now best selling book.

Acting is top shelf all the way around but this is Chastain’s time to shine, coming off of scene stealing supporting roles in Tree of Life and The Help. There is a palpable sense of suspense throughout the film, and the tension just keeps increasing as we again shift to the present day and follow Mirren’s attempts to set things right. Smooth well-paced direction by John Madden reminds one how good a helmer he’s been all along despite being low key since Shakespeare in Love.

- Michael Bergeron

One Comment »

  • Gareth says:

    I saw the original Israeli version not to long ago and found it to be amazing. I’m glad they chose Helen Mirren to play the role Gila Almagor played in the original 2024 version. She’s solid.

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