Today I sat down to watch another film on DVD that I had not seen before and that film was The Debt, The Debt centers around three secret agents working in East Germany trying to find a Nazi war criminal once this is accomplished he is to be taken and smuggled into Israel where he can face punishment for his crimes. The plan goes awry causing the war criminal to be shot by one of the agents, 30 years later someone in the Ukraine is claiming to be the criminal. The Debt stars Jessica Chastain, Helen Mirren, Marton Csokas, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Worthington, Jesper Christensen and Ciarán Hinds.
There are quite a few positives to this film which include: superb acting, great story, brilliantly sustained tone, good storytelling, great action and lots of tension. To expand, everyone pulled out an excellent performance in this film even Sam Worthington (who I have not seen act that well I do have a few problems with his performance but overall it was really good); the standouts to me were Marton Csokas, Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren (I think it helped that the character of Rachael was very interesting). The story in this film is quite clever in switching between timelines, the story starts in 1997 then goes back to 1965 for a large chunk of the runtime then comes back to 1997 to finish the story off; unlike Spy Game (that I think was made a little worse by starting in present then going backwards and as the past story didn't change much of what was happening in the present, it seemed a bit pointless) The Debt made the jumping backwards necessary as it revealed a cool plot twist which helps you understand all the characters motivations in the first part of the 1997 story. In the scenes where it mattered the tension was really high and I was on the edge of my seat for large portions of this film.
However I do have a few problems with this movie, which are that the story progression is kind of slow, the tension is lost in some segments and Sam Worthington. My problem with this film's story progression doesn't affect me much as I like films with a slow burn but it did take a while for stuff to happen in this film as I said though it didn't bother me much. My other problem in this film is due to switching back and forth through timelines (even though I realise I gave this as one of my positives it does have a downside), even though it was expertly done and ended up having a purpose it still had some of the same problems as Spy Game. These problems are that if you start in the present then go back, you know certain characters are still alive in the present and in the case of this film actually see the final scene of the end of the 1965 story; what this does is remove a lot of the tension that would of been there if the plot device wasn't in place as you know how the story plays out. Saying that, because this film has such brilliant direction, scenes of which I know the outcome still kept me on the edge of my seat just not as much as they should have. My final problem is that of Sam Worthington, even though I enjoyed his performance overall and other actors' performances (like Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain) had the same problem but to a much smaller degree I feel I should still point it out; that problem is the slipping of his accent, like I said other actors in the film do this but only once or twice in the entire film. Sam Worthington's accent slipped from Israeli to American every other sentence.
Overall I really enjoyed this film as it is a very well crafted thriller with some brilliant acting and great direction, and if I take everything I have said into consideration I rate this film: