Sunday, September 4, 2011
d by Ciarán Hinds) commits suicide and the truth begins to surface, the remaining members (now Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson) must take action to ensure their lie remains buried. "The Debt" is an engaging thriller by John Madden, that employs a confusing past and present narrative which it juggles quite well (it is even hard to write a synopsis about). When the film finally does come together and we are only left with the resolution in the present, it is only then that the film begins to feel standard. The scenes in 1966 East Berlin with Chastain, Worthington, and Csokas are riveting, and the romantic triangle adds tension and elevates the material above basic thriller fodder. Strangely however the 1997 scenes with Mirren and Wilkinson seem routine and less compelling, although both stars contribute their usual wonderful performance. John Madden is a competent director who deftly weaves a tangled web here, and Jessica Chastain makes it clear that this is her summer.