The Debt

The spy/espionage movie genre seems overdone these days, but every once in a while, there’s a diamond in the rough. The Debt, a new movie about the Mossad, takes the familiar Nazi-hunting theme and packages it into two hours of grip-your-seat suspense.

The story, set in two time eras: the “modern day” late-90s and the mid-60s, is about three honorary Mossad agents that infiltrated East Germany in 1966 to capture Nazi war criminal Vogel and bring him back to Israel to stand trial. Their heroic efforts have followed them for over 30 years, but was it really deserved?

The movie was a roller coaster, a time-traveling one to be more specific. I think the director did a great job switching between the two eras, and I was able to connect the dots and figure out actions and consequences. Things were gradually revealed, or came around full circle, and the approach kept things interesting.

The story was delightfully suspenseful, sometimes due to action, but many times due to the psychological toll of hiding secrets and dealing with your worst enemy. The actors and actresses (some pretty big names such as Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington) gave top notch performances. My favorite actor was definitely Jesper Christensen, who played the cunning and manipulative Doctor Vogel.

The Debt does a good job of addressing the question of whether the truth is more important than everything else that matters to you – your family, reputation, country, etc. You feel the dilemma these characters are facing, and you feel just as helpless as they are, unsure of the next steps.

It’s this integration between audience and story that makes this movie so good and so suspenseful. By the end of the film, I felt that I’d just gone through a tropic thunderstorm. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but very enjoyable overall.

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