Bridge of Spies
Set in the late 50’s during the dawn of the Cold War, Bridge of Spies brings you a tale of two national super powers struggling to show dominance while toeing a fine line of diplomacy as to not start a thermonuclear war. The United States and USSR were constantly trying to gain the upper hand on each other through covert measures, and these measures often required people who were caught and put on trial as traitors, as in this film. Two entire civilizations opposing each other because each’s ideology of how the world should be wouldn’t leave room for the other.
In steps Donovan, an insurance lawyer played by Tom Hanks. He is given a no win situation when offered the thankless task of defending accused Russian spy Rudolf Abel, played by Mark Rylance (and played well enough for an Oscar). From there we see an American civilian thrown into the deep end of the Cold War and very much being out of his depth seeing as he has no experience with such fragile national security affairs. However, because of this, we see what kind of man Donovan really is. We see how he approaches his situations he’s given and when all he wants to do is go home, he still proves himself to stay true to his character. Amidst turmoil and ostracization at home, he persists.
Bridge of Spies is a thriller, however, you are not going to get your over the top action scenes you get from other war time movies. Spy thrillers deal with covert operations and by definition cannot draw attention to themselves. This movie is no different. It is a slower film, moving methodically through the plot but with purpose and without all the extravagances that a lesser, poorly written screenplay would depend on. It attaches you to its characters, hoping for them to succeed. Yes, even Mr. Abel.
GMBM Verdict : 1 Oscar and 2 thumbs up from us. Good Movie.
Starring: Mark Rylance, Tom Hanks, Alan Alda Rating PG-13 Released 2015