The Courier Review Movie
The Courier Review
Maybe because it came to a peace, not conflict, which means it doesn't have the exciting bangs and explosions or maybe because it was fought in a frenzied manner and mostly inside closed doors The Cold War hasn't always been the best fertile ground for film. The actual Cold War, that is not the version in fiction that saw Bond or Harry Palmer risked life and body to stop Russians from performing some action or another. The real Cold War, waged by men and women who grit their teeth with simple heroics, is a hefty source of fascinating stories.
Greville Wynne's (Benedict Cumberbatch) and, possibly more precisely, Oleg Penkovsky's (Merab Ninidze) -is a prime example of. A typical businessman who was working in the 1950s, before transitioning to the 1960s. Wynne was recruited by MI5 due to his frequent excursions to Moscow and then became Penkovsky's courier, contact and eventually, a friend. Together, they were able to in the conclusion of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's their bond that directors Dominic Cooke and writer Tom O'Connor make the most of and more so than Wynne's tense relationship with his wife Sheila (Jessie Buckley who is who is as great as always regardless of the fact that her character's performance isn't always up to her talent) and with whom Wynne once committed a shady affair.
It's beautifully shot, professionally acted and even more thrilling than you imagine.
Cumberbatch as well as Ninidze are both excellent as a pair and both lend the moustachioed Wynne incredible likability as the task he initially thinks of as a joke transforms into a dirty little blunder that could threaten his relationship, his sanity, and his entire life (and it's not always in the same order). Ninidze is an Georgian actor who made an appearance in the loosely thematically connected Bridge Of Spies, brings humanity and warmth to Penkovsky as a man who is troubled by his own deceit however, compelled to do what he believes is right. When the two are in a group, having secret meetings in dark streets, exchanging lusty glances over dinner, or taking a trip to the ballet they're more than that and transform a semblance that was a matter of comfort into something much more significant. It can even be viewed as a love story kind, but the question is the possibility of being arrested, taken to the gulag or even executed.
The majority of the film the film, Cumberbatch and Ninidze are fumbling and then attracting attention and finally trying to avoid the attentions of the KGB both share co-leads and the plot is enjoyable, even if it's not particularly novel. The story is drastically altered during the third act. Being an British film created by Brits and Brits, there are no prizes to guess which character the film is focused on. Cumberbatch excels in this scene in the way that Wynne is able to convey the full effect of his actions. However, by putting Penkovsky's story aside this feels as if some emotional trick was often not being portrayed. There are times where it seems like its ambitions are greater than its budget, and the real Cuban Missile Crisis largely kept off the screen, only mentioned in the dispatches. It's nevertheless well-shot and very well-acted and much more captivating than you'd thinkparticularly if you don't have any knowledge of the real-life outcomes of Wynne or Penkovsky. It's best to watch it in cold weather.