Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Our Kind of Traitor

John le Carre's books often make for good movies (Constant Gardener), and Our Kind of Traitor fits into that distinguished list quite eloquently.
Traitor tells a very plausible story of Russian / British corruption. A British couple (an interracial marriage, if I might note, although race doesn't play much of a factor in this movie), made of poetry scholar Perry (Ewan McGregor) and barrister Gail (Naomi Harris), tries to make amends for a marital crisis through a Moroccan holiday. There they stumble upon a flamboyant and extravagant Russian, Dima (Stellan Skarsgard), who manages to grab a mental hold on Perry.
It turns our Dima needs Perry's help in order to keep himself and his family alive. They are Russian mafia, you see, stuck in the middle when the state seeks to take over mafia business and make it its own. With the help of some politicians in the UK pulling the strings, that is; we all know London's core attraction with its financial services industry lies in its ability to turn a blind eye when laundering blood money.
So, yeah, le Carre's ability to create a feasible plot that smells so realistic in uncanny. It's not just the international conspiracy that is so well portrayed; the story of our estranged couple is just as fascinating, if not more, providing an analogy for the core story. The cheating husband is the one to become the morally good party while the seemingly virtuous freedom fighting barrister hesitates. And Skarsgard does a very good Russian, in effect stealing the film with his performance.
Overall: Very well done and acted, Our Kind of Traitor is entertaining as well as wise. 4 out of 5 my kind of crabs.

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