Bridge Of Spies – Should I Watch It?

Intro to… Bridge of Spies
An overly optimistic insurance lawyer tries to strong-arm the USSR into a one-for-two deal.

The Plot
The Federal Court requests James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), a lawyer who specialises in insurance settlements, to represent the alleged Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). Donovan is hesitant at first, since it will put a lot of strain on his work and family, but he accepts because it is his firm conviction that everyone deserves a fair and honest trial.

Should I Watch It?
Some movies are necessary. There are numerous historical events hidden in obscurity, stories that deserve to be told. But not everything can fit into our history curriculum, and therefore many are lost to us. Films like Bridge of Spies tell us about the heroes we have forgotten and the incidents we have overlooked.

In many ways this film is similar to last year’s The Imitation Game. It introduces us to a lesser-known hero living in a turbulent time, it informs us about a historic event most of us have never heard of, and gets heavily romanticised in the process. The stories are completely different, but the approach is very alike. And considering I quite enjoyed The Imitation Game, this is not a bad thing.

The story focuses on James B. Donovan, his absolute belief in the American constitution, and his involvement in the defence of the alleged Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. Donovan strongly feels a legal and moral obligation to defend Abel to the best of his ability. Even when his career and family start to suffer, he does not give up on his principles. He stands tall. And that is why we relate to him. We all have our own set of principles, and we all aim to uphold these. Donovan faces constant opposition; his values are continuously being challenged. But he does not break, and we admire this, so we root for him.

The dialogue of Bridge of Spies is oddly humorous. The film tackles a serious subject during a tension-filled time in history. And yet Tom Hanks’ character quips his way through conversations, and the flat and dry delivery of Mark Rylance is nothing short of hilarious. It brings a lot of life to the characters, and was unmistakably influenced by the Coen brothers. It does, however, lower the severity of the subject.

The film is visually stunning. It easily maintains the engrossing tension of a Cold War Berlin. The aftermath of the Second World War is apparent as the city lies in ruins. The streets are grey, and so are the people. The majority of the movie is conversation, often in dark quarters. This too adds to the tension, and the pretence that it is being shot during the Cold War.

Bridge of Spies is a great movie. It has a fascinating story, a cast of great actors whom perform brilliantly, and the authentic look that we have grown accustomed to from a Spielberg production. The movie has taken some liberties in relation to the actual events, but most things, and nearly everything important, holds strong.

Yes, watch it.

Hi guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this review. If you have any comments or suggestions on what I should watch next let me know in the comment section below.


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  1. Top 11: Best Movies Of 2015 | The Silver Screen Savant - December 27, 2015

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