When Perry and his girlfriend, Gail, cross paths with the charismatic Dima on their Moroccan holiday, the forceful Russian is quick to challenge Perry to a friendly game of tennis. But this innocuous contest is not all it seems - Dima is a long-time servant of the Russian mafia, whose new boss, 'The Prince', wants him and his family dead. His only hope is to ask the unsuspecting Perry to broker him sanctuary with the British intelligence services, in return for exposing a vein of corruption that runs right to the heart of the City of London. Soon they find themselves on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps and, with the might of the Russian mafia closing in, begin to realise this particular match has the highest stakes of all.Written by
Source novelist John le Carré's characters have long been engrained in the public imagination as the crumpled, cynical counterparts to the polished dash of James Bond. For the filmmakers, the job at hand was to craft a feature to fit into the le Carré canon and also to stand out within it. See more »
On the way to the safe house, the Land Rover and the other SUV are driving on the wrong (left) side of the road. Switzerland as well as France are right hand traffic countries. See more »
I went to see this with a friend the day after it went out on general release and I have to say that we both loved it. We are both John Le Carre fans (though I had not read this book), and, even though my friend said there were slight adjustments, we were both hooked immediately. I understand that Ralph Fiennes dropped out of the project before filming, to be replaced by Stellan Skarsgard and I have to say that the recasting was a major reason for me (and my friend) wanting to see this film as soon as possible. He gave Dima a warmth that made you understand immediately why Ewan McGregor's Perry (and, eventually, Naomie Harris's Gail) would want to help him and his family. The feeling of foreboding on the Russian side of the story came over immediately, and the tension at some points had me curled up in my cinema seat. There were two occasions where I thought the outcome was signalled too clearly, but only one panned out as I expected and, having only just started the book, I can't say if that is how it was meant to be. I can only say that, as someone who has not always been a fan of Ewan McGregor, I found his character in the film to be believable and very likable, and Damian Lewis (as a Smiley- type figure) was really excellent. I have liked Naomie Harris since I first saw her in Pirates of the Caribbean (though she wasn't given a huge amount to do here) it is always great to see the hugely underused Jeremy Northam, and lovely to see Saskia Reeves in a part that might not be large, but was very affecting. Overall, however, it was Stellan Skarsgard's Dima that stole the show for me. He might not have been the bald, brown-eyed Russian of the book, but he made us care what happened to him and his family. I pre-ordered the film on Blu Ray as soon as I got home. Loved it.
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