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‘A Most Wanted Man’: An edge-of-your-seats yarn
by Terry Burns
Aug 13, 2014 | 236 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“A Most Wanted Man,” PG-13, ****, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Willem Defoe, Homayoun Ershadi. Potboiler Productions. Director Anton Corbin. Length 122 minutes. Based on the book by the same name and written by John le Carre.

This film delivers a story of a possible terrorist working in Hamburg, Germany, and the people who may be involved in carrying out an attack. Spying on terrorists is not only dangerous, but difficult to pinpoint.

The film is set in Hamburg, with Gunther Bachman (Philip Seymour Hoffman) as a spy who made a mistake during his last mission. Bachman is intelligent and a hard worker who is determined to complete his job as a spy. He continuously has a glass of whiskey in one hand, and a cigarette in the other hand or sometimes the same hand as the glass. This has to be a record for cigarette smoking and whiskey drinking in a movie.

Unfortunately, this was Hoffman’s last main work at acting. He totally becomes his character, and convinces the audience again of his excellent talent.

Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dabrygin) is the main suspect. He has inherited money from his father, and it is believed that he will use that money for a terrorist attack. Dr. Faisal Abdullah (Homoajour Ershadi) is suspected of going to use Kaprov’s funds to fund the attack. His job is to give money to charities or maybe some to terrorists.

Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) is a lawyer trying to help Karpov. She does not believe he is a terrorist. Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) works for the CIA, and she is helping along with watching Bachman very closely as they try to piece the puzzle together.

The film keeps the audience guessing throughout the two hours of run time. Tommy Brue (William Dafoe) works for the bank where the money is located. The suspense begins at the start of the film, and it does not let up until the very end, and I do mean the very last scene.

It takes a long time to piece the puzzle together, and the suspense hovers over the audience until it comes together. Is he a terrorist or not?

Using the tactics to bring the story together, Bachman makes a statement about his job that what he is doing creates a safer place for all. Of course, he is right. In this day and time, we must be on our best game in order to keep the world secure.

When the film ends, the title of the film will give the audience a chance to concentrate on what the title means. It slams the audience with the total reason for the name of the movie. This seems to strike a cord which really delivering the goods. We read the title at the beginning, and we live it at the end.

John le Care wrote the book “A Most Wanted Man.” With his background he can surely write a realistic book about espionage. He worked for MI5 and MI6. Yes, he worked for the British Intelligence during the ’50s and ’60s. It is obvious he knows how to write realistic information about spies and espionage.

Some readers may want to read some of his books. His style seems to be more pragmatic than some spy books. I will now close this not so classified information.

(Terry Burns is technology coordinator for the McNairy County School System. A life-long movie buff, he can be contacted by email at
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