Thursday, 10 December 2015

Week 47: Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers:  Matt Charman & Ethan and Joel Coen
Seen:  08th of December
Venue: IMC
Snacks: Popcorn
Mood: Satisfied

Stephen Spielberg’s filmography has a temporal theme running through it. From a futuristic perspective he has made Minority Report (2002) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). However I would argue his preferred direction is back in time, he has brought to our screens the political and social landscape of  many an epoch. Including the emancipation of slaves in America with Lincoln (2012) the harshness of the WW2 with Saving Private Ryan (1998) the holocaust with Schindler's List (1993). His next film is rumoured to be Montezuma an Aztecs based film.

His latest historical release is the espionage thriller Bridge of Spies which deals with the Cold War.  Comparable to the latter two films I mentioned, Bridge of Spies deals with a true story from that time. It is the story of a New York lawyer James Donovan, who is played by Spielberg collaborator Tom Hanks (the 4th film they’ve done together), who begins as a defender to an accused Russian Spy but ends up recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate the release of American pilot in East Berlin, you see where its going.

Spielberg captures the historical epoch he often deals with perfectly, whether  its WW2 battlefields or the concentration camps of the Nazis, the production design is flawless and he transports and immerses the viewer in that time. Bridge of Spies does not disappoint, you really get a sense of Germany post World War and at the height of the Cold one.

There is no denying that Spielberg is a master story teller and when he collaborates with the Coen Brothers, who helped out with the script for this, the result is an impeccable film. While there might be a touch of “American exceptionalism” with it (Tom Hanks is certainly the ultimate good guy) this is a brilliant film that is worth seeing.

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