A potent combination of Steven Spielberg, The Coen Brothers, Tom Hanks and Alan Alda plus a very well made trailer that I saw last week had made up my mind to see this film before it was taken off from our screens. A great many others must have felt the same way as there were only four seats vacant in the theater when we saw it. This itself was a most unusual experience for me. I don’t think that today being a holiday had anything to with it, but that it was Thursday and that it could be taken off must have influenced the attendance.
I don’t think that any viewer was disappointed. There were very few of my age who could identify with the Berlin wall, U2 planes, Garry Powers and the cold war but despite that they enjoyed the film was obvious. Even for me and my first time partner in crime Megh, the exchange story was a new insight and the two for one exchange was also a new insight.
There is nothing negative that comes to mind about the film other than the limited role for Alan Alda where despite his short appearance, he makes his presence felt. What can one say about Tom Hanks being directed by Spielberg? And a truly remarkable performance by Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, brings out the message that even spies can be human! His unforgettable delivery of “Is that gonna help?” is worth seeing the film once again.
Most of my readers are of my age group. Though the Americans among them may know the full story behind the film already, it still is a refresher course with current Russia / West confrontations coming to the fore again for all of us and for the younger ones, a wake up call to learn from history.
Don’t miss it.