I’ve always LOVED History and even if I no longer get to sit in a classroom and listen to my teachers; I still get to enjoy movies based on beautiful stories that weren’t in our History books and with a master director such as Spielberg on the helm and Award Winning actor Tom Hanks in the lead you cannot go wrong.
A few months ago we saw The Man From U.N.C.L.E. which is a more colorful and lighter take on the Cold War along with the insanely handsome spies who skillfully dance from one side of the Berlin Wall to the next.
Bridge Of Spies is a more textbook accurate (as it is based on actual events) movie of the bleak and desolate conditions of the Cold War, the ‘you-get-showered-with-a-rain-of-bullets- if you cross the wall kind of brutal reality. Where ‘spies’ are old men caught unawares in their underwear and without their false teeth.
While Uncle was a movie to entertain. Bridge of Spies is a movie to educate and to inspire.
Tom Hanks delivers another (as expected) impressive performance as Brooklyn Insurance Lawyer James Donovan who is given the task of defending alleged Russian spy Rudolph Adler who is played by actor Mark Rylance.
In a surprise twist, Uncle Sam finds himself planning a classic prisoner-exchange (between Adler and Powers) when their very own U2 pilot Gary Powers is shot out of the sky while doing a reconnaissance mission and the man to do the job-none other civilian than James Donovan. Now Donovan is doing a dangerous tango from one side of the Iron Curtain to the next as he tries to appease not just one but three governments and tries to bring home not one but two Americans.
Rylance was a surprise crowd favorite and stole the show with his stoic and nonchalant attitude (perhaps a requirement for spies?) were both endearing and subtly funny, you would end up rooting for him.
It takes a while for the actual juicy part of the story (the tense negotiations) to take place but the scenes leading up to it are all relevant and are not boring or dragging at all. I really enjoyed the flight and escape sequence which was very detailed and intense.
There are a couple of parallel symbolisms you might keep an eye out for in the film, the two different uses of the coin by our two spies and the over-the-bakod (wall) action that take place in two different continents. If you are a History teacher and you are planning to include this film in your curriculum you might want to consider the these as a topic for a movie reaction or term paper.
While the movie hits the nail on the head in many aspects, I wouldn’t say that it is Spielberg at his best but its still pretty damn good
and something that you shouldn’t miss.
I think it is more than just coincidence that days before the release of the movie, a piece of the Berlin Wall made its way to Manila to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution which will be celebrated in February next year. (I’m an EDSA baby, I was born in 1986 so that makes me 30 years old too T_T )
In the photo above is Germany’s Parliamentary State Secretary & Federal Government Coordinator of German Policy Brigitte Zypries and Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario beside the segment of the Berlin Wall. The segment of the wall is known as the 22nd section from the 44 sections of the original wall. This segment of the wall was donated by the city of Berlin to the city and people of Manila”.
The wall is currently on display at the National Museum.
Photo from The Philippine Star.
Make sure to catch this history meets beautiful movie tandem as it hits the cinemas on October 14 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.