Loosely based on the 2007 Israeli film with the same title.(“Ha,Hov”)
This wonderfully cast film might not rank as the best movie of the summer but is terrifically entertaining; a unique story spanning over thirty years, (1966-1997) three people constituting a ménage a trois; members of Israel’s Mossad, searching for a diabolical physician who experimented on concentration camp inmates. They pledge to protect a secret, and for a lifetime, they are racked with the consequences of their pact.
Helen Mirren is “Rachel Singer,” the scarred survivor, lethal and talented killer living in Tel Aviv (1997) where her daughter has written a book championing the exploits, capture and killing of “Dieter Vogel”, the “Surgeon of Birkenau” (magnificently depicted by Jesper Christensen; comparable to Christoph Waltz’s performance as Hans Landa in “Inglorious Basterds”); “Stephan” (Tom Wilkinson, brilliant casting coup) and “David” (Ciaran Hinds, a face reflecting a thousand thoughts) were her partners and conspirators in this messianic quest for justice.
The movie is riveting in depicting the capture of Dr. Death, in war torn East Berlin. The beautiful and chameleon-like, Jessica Chastain (“Tree of Life”, “The Help”) is young “Rachel”, she masks her deadly skills beneath a facade of captivating vulnerability and youth. Charismatically good- looking Marton Csokas, is the young “Stephan” a callous, calculating, riveting force; a pianist with Martial Arts dexterity and finesse. Sam Worthington is young “David”, an enigmatic presence, frozen,forever traumatized and damaged by the slaughter of his family; his battle to cauterize his feelings for Rachel play havoc on the team.
The actors, with perfect accents, transcend the plot; at times it is rejuvenating to relinquish criticism, embrace manipulation, willingly ride the roller -coaster of emotional, if improbable, exhilaration.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!