The Courier Review: Cold War Spy Drama Has a Great Cast But Lacks Tension
Oleg Penkovsky is not a household name, but it certainly should be. His actions during the Cold War helped prevent a nuclear confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. The courier service tells their story, but not from their point of view. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Greville Wynne, a British businessman who was recruited by MI6 and the CIA to contact Penkovsky in Moscow. The film has moments of spy intrigue and political theater, but it feels like a play in its execution. A quiet production design with the use of similar sets leads in dangerous espionage. The courier service It needed a bit more excitement, but it’s well played by a solid cast.
In 1960 Russia, Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) is a senior GRU colonel who works on a committee for the Minister of Commerce. Penkovsky, a decorated soldier and family man, is dismayed by the leadership of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. He feared Khrushchev for being a warmongering warmonger. Who would stir the United States and its European allies in an avoidable confrontation? Penkovksy decides to act. You approach two workers at the American embassy and provide them with information that could only come from a high-value source.
In London, the CIA sends Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) to meet with British intelligence (Angus Wright, Anton Lesser). They need to contact Penkovsky, but want to send “an amateur” to avoid suspicion from the KGB. His choice was Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch), a talkative businessman who had spent years making trade deals in Eastern Europe. Wynne is absolutely flabbergasted with his offer. Why would he put himself in danger with a loving wife (Jessie Buckley) and a young son (Keir Hills) to care for? Change your mind about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. Greville Wynne is sent to Moscow to meet with Penkovsky. They become key players in the Cuban missile crisis, but they pay a devastating price.
The courier service it works like a character drama on several levels. Penkovsky and Wynne learn to trust each other with their lives. But the extraordinary secret wreaks havoc on Wynne’s personal life, as his wife suspects he’s having an affair. Benedict Cumberbatch is magnificent as a man torn between his family and civic duty. Jessie Buckley is only as good as his exasperated and distrustful wife. Rachel Brosnahan nearly stole the show as the clever CIA manipulator surrounded by men who underestimate her. The interaction between the actors is tense, believable and the force of the film.
Merab Ninidze also gets top marks for his portrayal of the low-key Oleg Penkovsky. My problem is that I wanted to see more of him. The courier service it is based on the experience of Greville Wynne, but Penkovsky’s motivations and his eventual decisions are fascinating. He betrayed his country because he believed it was on the way to destruction. That is true heroism or ultimate betrayal, depending on which side you are on. Dominic Cooke, a revered theater director directing the film, could have increased the tension with a greater focus on Penkovsky. We see glimpses of his spy art, but he could have used more detail.
The courier serviceAt the very least, it teaches a valuable lesson that cannot be forgotten. The Cold War bordered on global annihilation with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Oleg Penkovsky and Greville Wynne are directly responsible for their positive result. No kid today is doing drop-and-cover drills or helping build a rain shelter. The courier service is a 42, FilmNation Entertainment and SunnyMarch production. It will have a theatrical release on March 19 at Roadside Attractions.
The courier service
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