1 October 2012 | buddybhupender
The Best Conspiracy/Political Thriller of The Year
In 2008, the American Carnegie Endowment's Foreign Policy magazine named Russia as "the worst place to be a terrorist" and highlighted especially Russia's willingness to prioritize national security over civil rights.
But this movie represents the other side of the story which is based on the similar life experience of Luke Harding who summed up his Post Cold war Russia Experience in his 2011 book Mafia States. Now most of the people who don't know about him know this-
Luke Daniel Harding (born 1968) is a British political journalist working for 'The Guardian newspaper.' He was the correspondent of 'The Guardian' in Russia from 2007 until he was expelled from the country in 2011 over his critical articles. His 2011 book Mafia State discusses the political system in Russia under Vladimir Putin, which he describes as a mafia state.He is the first foreign journalist to be expelled from Russia since Cold War ended. He is now posted in the London office of 'The Guardian.'
The movie basically depicts his experiences thought with some changes but the basic settings or plot remains the same where a foreigner journalist who is from Germany (and also the son of a deceased political journalist who used to work with the same magazine during the USSR era and post USSR era.)comes to work for a Russian Celebrity Magazine who publishes page three stories for rich and influential Russians as they no longer publish stories which might displease the powerful government and The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation who treat media censorship as a necessity to suppress the things they don't want to go public in dealing with matters of terrorism or national security any way they please to justify here the concept of national security over human rights.
But the movie not only depicts the inhumane methods of tortures developed by stasis in Germany during WW-II days but also the terrifying possibilities of secret services' hand behind some of the domestic terrorist attacks to justify the military warfare in Chechnya. As one character says,"The threat of terror is the only thing which unites the people of a country its a historic fact."
He also says,"Russia was on its Knees..In 1988 Russia was as poor as a third world nation, most reflecting for the country that once was second most powerful in the world; everything collapses..Army, economy, whole society..we were at the abyss. Then the president managed to take us back. Only a fool thinks that it doesn't have its prize."
So the story deals with the question of who being the actual threat is. the main character writes an article of a recently deceased investigation journalist who was found dead in mysterious circumstances completely unaware of the fact that he soon will be involved with psychological war with secret service officials and terrorist attacks and dark and twisted power games who will terrorize him and will test him when his fathers past is also revealed during his investigation for truth.
Overall the movie do raise questions about some serious issues of human rights and social willpower to resist the misuse of power which uses terrorist attacks to make more anti terrorist laws to give more power to military and make the life of common man more difficult. It represent the side of modern day Russia which has been hidden or unseen for masses of outside.
I saw this movie and it do has a similar plot with the book Mafia State though i have not read the book completely yet an on screen view was a treat. It had a gripping plot and twists were in plenty. Every person shown in the movie was not what they claim they were..there were many moments of doubt and suspense and it is entertaining.
On the whole the movie is a decent effort and to show these kind of stories is always a challenge. Screenplay is good and it is fast pace. Acting is also decent and some serious efforts by male lead has been put in some scenes especially in the FSS prison where the inhumane conditions prisoners are kept in.
I was impressed by the movie and it is a great to see a decent political thriller after the Pierce Brosnan starer Ghostwriter and it is commercially entertaining.
My rating is 7.5/10..
Go watch it for things Russia is not famous for!!