A Most Wanted Man  is a realistic espionage thriller based on the book of the same name written by John le Carré (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Without going too far into the plot, the film follows Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a Russian Refugee who enters Hamburg, Germany illegally. This attracts the attention of Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman), head of a German counter-terrorist group. It’s a slow moving, plot twisting, espionage thriller, it requires a lot of attention, and nothing particularly exciting happens in it, but it’s great.
No spectacle. It took me multiple viewings to fully get through this film, as I mentioned before this is a very slow moving film, immediately after finishing the film I thought of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (which made sense when I read that they’re both based on books by the same author). The thing about A Most Wanted Man is that there isn’t much of a high point in the film, there isn’t a sense of high tension such as the flight boarding scene in Argo.
The film is at a constant slow pace, and it somewhat picks up at the very end, but even then it doesn’t get too intense. But this makes the film better nonetheless, it’s supposed to be a realistic take on espionage, and it’s not all shootouts, and car chases. There is still a mixed feeling of anger/sadness that doesn’t really come out in many films (it’s really difficult to describe without getting into spoilers).
Enough talking about the plot. The film is directed by Anton Corbijn, with Benoît Delhomme as the director of photography, and starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Daniel Brühl and Nina Hoss. The directing and cinematography of the film are great, there are some really nice shots in the film; and interesting locations. The performances in the film are all pretty fantastic, nobody actually stands out except for maybe Philip Seymour Hoffman in the final scene, and a bit with Rachel McAdams.
Everything in this film is at a consistent level. Nothing ever really speeds up or slows down, all the actors stay at a high acting level, it’s just a good film to watch on a free afternoon.
It may not be for everybody, but it’s worth sitting through till the end
if you have the patience.
A Most Wanted Man