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Posts Tagged ‘spy’

Turks & Caicos (2014)

In Action, Amazing, BBC, Crime, film, Law, new, political, Recommendation, Review, Spy on 22/03/2014 at 11:00 am

A great BBC Original spy thriller-drama with a cast so starry it’s hard to believe it’s only a telly production. Former MI5 agent Johnny/Tom Eliot (Bill Nighy) is trying to stay out of trouble on Turks & Caicos – a tropical tax haven – but fails miserably when he gets entangled in a CIA efforts lead by Curtis Pelissier (Christopher Walken) to catch some big-arse crooks. We’ve seen Nighy in many roles like this, but it’s hard to object as he does such a lovely job at being the well-mannered, understated and well-tailored Englishman.

When he fled from HM’s SS, he left behind the love of his life and also former spy Margot (Helena Bonham-Carter) – but his plight is bound to bring them back together. Meanwhile, Melanie (Winona Ryder) is in with the bad boys but the question is whether she wants to be. She’s all grown up, fragile, broken and seductive all at once. Back in the UK, Margot gets closer to Stirling Rogers (Rupert Graves, Sherlock) who is too rich and powerful not to be involved somehow, and also plays tennis with the PM, Alec Beasley (Ralph Fiennes), which gives rise to the question of his involvement in illegal financial thievery.

All the plots, schemes, power play and politics are made more interesting by the central notion of this story: humanity. Not once does this film degrade itself to plot-driven cops&robbers trickery. The island’s police force, Johnny, Margot and Johnny’s love, Melanie’s MO – they all boil down to a sense of ‘as long as there’s people like them in the world, we might be alright’.

Also, writer and director David Hare (The Reader, The Hours) made a film that blatantly says: tax havens are corrupt, dangerous, criminal snake-pits that use our tax payers’ money to enrich themselves and politicians involved. And it’s about time.

NB: No trailer available yet – here’s one for Original British Drama featuring some tasters.

Spooks (2002-)

In Amazing, BBC, political, Recommendation, Review, series on 01/07/2011 at 6:06 pm

Nine years and seasons on and it’s still good. Not many series can pull this off, especially not high-pace, complex and political dramas like Spooks. Well actually, there is no other series like it.

Spooks is a nickname for British members of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, also known as MI5 and MI6, and it refers to spies. The series began when the latest Iraq war broke out and its writers never failed to incorporate current global affairs in their plots. Spooks even dealt with the credit crunch before people even realised it was going on.

What Spooks achieves and accordingly made it so successful, if you ask me, is that it succeeded in being a good drama series on its own. The series’ heroes are continuously struggling to find ways to deal with their impossible lives. When entering the Service they need to surrender a part of their humanity. After that, they need to struggle to hold on to it at times.

As said, it’s high-pace and complex, so you need to focus to keep track. It’s also ruthless to viewers (yes, your favourite spook might very well die) and it ignores political correctness when it comes to picking bad guys. They do love to mock the Americans.