We watched Our Kind of Traitor yesterday at our local Cineplex. It’s about a couple who are drawn into some international intrigue – a Russian money launderer seeking protection from the British secret service in exchange for names and account numbers which highlight the involvement of prominent citizens and politicians.
I confess I like spy movies, the kind with plenty of character and plot and atmosphere, rather than the kind with fancy stunts and effects. This was the right sort of spy movie, just what the Dr ordered. John le Carré did the screenplay on this one, based on the novel by Hossein Amini. To digress for a moment, when I was a kid, my father read those John le Carré novels and when I tried to read them at the time, I found them to be dense and boring. Many years later, I enjoyed the various film adaptations a great deal and went back and read some of the novels as well. They were still pretty dense, but I appreciated that peculiar atmosphere.
Ewan McGregor played Perry in Our Kind of Traitor, a college professor and Naomi Harris his lovely lawyer wife Gail. I thought Stellan Skarsgård carried the day though, with a terrific performance as Dima, the charismatic money launderer.
The tension between the characters was nicely played. The story seemed pretty much straight-ahead, but there was enough of a plot twist to keep it interesting. Our Kind of Traitor is by no means “best picture” material, but it’s a strong genre film well worth watching.