Our Kind Of Traitor

500 Days Of Film Reviews Thriller, Our Kind Of Traitor Starring Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Damien Lewis

 

While on holiday in Marrakech, English couple, Perry (Ewan McGregor) and Gail (Naomie Harris), befriend flamboyant Russian, Dima (Stellan Skarsgård), who unbeknownst to them is a kingpin Russian mafia money launderer.

 

When Dima asks Peter to deliver classified information to the British Secret Service, the couple find themselves caught in a dangerous world of international espionage and political corruption.

Is It Any Good?

Our Kind Of Traitor has an impressive resume. Made by acclaimed director, Susanna White, it was adapted by Hossein Amini (Drive, The Two Faces Of January) from a novel by John le Carré. 

 

Meanwhile, the film boasts a truly impressive cast and (as we have come to expect from cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle) looks stunning throughout.

 

With a pedigree such as this, what could possibly go wrong?

   

 

Sadly, despite having all the best pieces, Our Kind Of Traitor fails to form a satisfactory whole. It just does not generate the tension or complexity that we have come to expect from le Carré adaptations.

 

While Harris and McGregor do their best (and we know they are both extremely competent actors) they feel two dimensional. Despite being an “ordinary” couple thrust into an extraordinary situation, they never look more than a little perturbed. As a result, it is hard to care very much about either character.

 

Meanwhile, Damian Lewis plays Hector, the MI6 agent who tries to negotiate a deal with Dima and the British Government - information for asylum. I usually enjoy watching Lewis. He was, of course, superb in Homeland.

 

However, I found Hector to be an irritating screen presence. I can’t put my finger on exactly why (apart, perhaps, from his accent?) but I do know that this was a huge disappointment.

 

In fact, the only enjoyable character in Our Kind Of Traitor is Dima and that is because Stellan Skarsgård seems to be having so much fun playing him.

 

When you find yourself, as I did, contemplating the cinematography of a thriller you know that something is just not working - a real shame given the caliber of all those involved. 

Random Observations

Have you seen Our Kind Of Traitor?

 

If you have, what did you think of this film? Am I missing something?

 

Let me know by leaving me a comment in the box below! 

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