A review by Shlomoh Sherman
Friday, September 5, 2014
Director: Anton Corbijn
Writers: Andrew Bovell (screenplay), John le Carré (novel)
Stars: Grigoriy Dobrygin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Homayoun Ershadi
Plot Keywords: war on terror - muslim - illegal immigrant - torture - starving
Plot: A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Rated R for language
Country: UK - USA - Germany
Language: English - Arabic
Release Date: August 1, 2014 (USA)
Also Known As: El hombre más buscado
Filming Locations: Berlin, Germany
Opening Weekend: $2,686,526 (USA) (July 25, 2014)
Gross: $15,201,760 (USA) (August 29, 2014)
Production Co: Ink Factory, The, Potboiler Productions, Amusement Park Films
Runtime: 122 min
I have been a fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman since seeing him in BOGGIE NIGHTS. It's terrible that such a talented man in his prime had to die, and at his own hands, so to speak.
I had to wait a long time to see this movie since it was only playing at the art theater when it opened in my area and the art theater does not honor FANDANGO tickets.
The plot revolves around Issa Karpov, a Chechen Muslim who illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror. Actually, it turns out, his mother was a Chechen woman raped by a politically powerful Russian man.
German and US security agencies become curious and interested in the Chechen, following him through Hamburg in order to find out his true identity and determine if he is a terrorist or in league with terrorists.
Karpov learns that he has inherited his father's billions but he considers his father a thoroughly evil man whose wealth is ill-gotten and therefore tainted. He therefore chooses to donate all his inheritance to a certain Mr. Abdullah, an Arab in charge of distribution of funds to multinational Islamic charities.
A group of anti-terrorism operatives lead by Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman)suspect that Abdullah is funneling funds, through his charities, to support Islamic terrorism. Through intrigue and intimidation, they micro-manage and monitor Karpov's handover of his money to Abdullah to see if the latter will disburse funds to a known Muslim charity organization which finances Jihadist terror.
Bachmann decides to let American intelligence in on the operation. He has assured Karpov's lawyer that because of Karpov's cooperation, he will will be given a new identity and made a citizen of Germany. But Bachmann, in the end, has to consider the wisdom of allowing any agency outside his own to be part of the setup.
I will not share the surprising denoument of the film but I suggest you see it if for no ther reason that it is one of Hoffman's last films.
To be sure, the movie is very slow-moving and unless you are willing to put up with the pace as a price for watching Hoffman, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, and Willem Dafoe, all of whose acting I admire, you may squirm in your seat as the plot slowly evolves.
Most of the reviews I have seen have been negative. As Rociovv1980a says below, "How much is Robin Wright in the movie?". I didn't even realize that she was in the movie or which role she played. Although she, Dafoe, and McAdams play major roles in the move, they are given very low billing.
If you like the cast and the theme of espionage intrigue, you'll enjoy the film. Else you may not.
Did You Know?
The book A Most Wanted Man is the twenty-first novel of author John le Carr
Discuss A Most Wanted Man (2014) on the IMDb message boards
Cast overview, first billed only:
Grigoriy Dobrygin ... Issa Karpov
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Günther Bachmann
Homayoun Ershadi ... Abdullah
Mehdi Dehbi ... Jamal
Neil Malik Abdullah ... Abdullah's Bodyguard
Nina Hoss ... Irna Frey
Daniel Brühl ... Maximilian
Vicky Krieps ... Niki
Kostja Ullmann ... Rasheed
Franz Hartwig ... Karl
Martin Wuttke ... The Admiral
Vedat Erincin ... Storekeeper
Rainer Bock ... Dieter Mohr
Derya Alabora ... Leyla Oktay
Tamer Yigit ... Melik Oktay
Robin Wright ... Martha Sullivan
Rachel McAdams ... Annabel Richter
Willem Dafoe ... Tommy Brue
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