Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Debt

It felt as though the trailer for The Debt had been floating around the cinema for most of the year.  The film finally arrived as did the knowledge that despite having seen the trailer countless times I didn’t really know what the film was about.

PLOT:  It is 1997 and retired Israeli spies Rachel (Helen Mirran) and her ex-husband Stephan (Tom Wilkinson) attend their daughter’s book launch which chronicles their success in capturing and killing former Nazi war criminal Dr Vogel (Jesper Christensen).  All is not what it seems and we are told through a series of flashbacks with a younger Rachel (Jessica Chastain) Stephan (Marton Csokas) and their colleague David (Sam Worthingon) what really happened on their mission.  END PLOT

The plot of The Debt is fine right up until the last act when we leave the past completely and the focus is placed on the older Rachel and Stephan trying to get themselves out of their own mess.  Helen Mirran and Tom Wilkinson are more than capable of taking centre stage but with the story petering out and the tension all but gone there is nothing that even actors of their talent can do with such a watery ending.

The film comes to life whenever the three Jewish spies are holed up in the house with Dr Vogel who slowly but surely starts to get under their skin.  The best scene in the entire film is between Dr Vogel and David which was tense and downright unsettling.

It is actually quite frustrating that all the good work in the flashbacks was undone by such a poor ending.  The film was written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn who normally can’t be faulted with their scripts but they clearly lost interest at the end of this one and just plumped for the most clichéd and unsatisfying ending they could think of.

The cast can’t really be faulted with everyone, especially Chastain and Christensen all putting in decent performances. I felt sorry for Worthington as you could tell he was trying but his character's back story was poorly dealt with and in the end didn't really go anywhere which left David the weakest character in the entire film. 

The Debt is worth a look and gets a decent enough 7/10.  Unfortunately it loses its direction towards the end and essentially descends from a decent thriller into a couple of OAP's  fighting in a bathroom.


  1. Thank You I was going to see this but now I will wait to see it on my TV

  2. The Debt started off well and had lots of potential but completely lost its way towards the end. Such a shame

    Thanks for reading :-)

  3. Well, at least you enjoyed it. One day I might check it out. :)

  4. I thought it was interesting from the trailers but I was voted down, might squezze it in on video even though it sounds like it falls apart at the end.

  5. D: It is worth a look on dvd but I couldn't recommend that you rush to the cinema to see it.

    Daniel: I think the trailer is quite deceptive as the fast majority of the film takes place in modern time and once the flashbacks have ended the film totally loses it. In this case being voted down was a good thing ;-)