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Film Review – Bridge of Spies

2 min read

The ingredients for a classic film include: the award-winning performance of Tom Hanks, writings of the Coen Brothers and direction of Steven Spielberg. Based on the 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War, Bridge of Spies recounts the story of James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), a New York insurance lawyer who is recruited by the CIA and tasked with defending U.S captured Soviet Union spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). Soon after, he leads the secret negotiation for the release of Soviet-captured American pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell).

A different subject matter amongst this year’s releases, the Spielberg drama focuses on the events of the Cold War, specifically the well known 1960 U-2 incident. Refreshing yet classically dramatic, Spielberg delivers another powerful and emotional film as well as another spectacular collaboration with Hanks (Catch Me If You Can, Saving Private Ryan). With the added mix of screenwriting by the Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men, True Grit)Bridge of Spies presents an entertaining blend of noir thriller and wit.

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Renowned for his frequent award-winning collaboration with Spielberg, Hanks once again showcases a magnificent performance. As law abiding, family man Donovan, Hanks delivers his character with great integrity and strength, who when placed under intense circumstances, retains his morality and honour. In all, Hanks plays another upstanding citizen, a prominent role type throughout his career. However, what makes this character distinctive from the rest of his roles is the quite resonance and humble honour throughout one of the world’s most compelling events. Hanks commands each scene with his genuineness, and inherent value that run through the actor and his character. The film is further supported by the wonderful performances of the cast, notably Rylance. Rylance delivers a soft and enigmatic performance as Abel and takes his inevitable sentence with private yield. Hanks and Rylance have an effortless chemistry that resounds on-screen, both creating an unlikely alliance and friendship that transcends their patriotic duties.

One of his best in recent years, Spielberg’s magical touch transforms a historical event into a quite, intense thriller that delivers without the need for demanding action scenes. Revolving around Hanks’ Donovan, Spielberg focuses on his humble journey and the harrowing events that surround him and managing it with respectfulness and modesty. Strengthened by the remarkable writing skills of Matt Chapman and the Coen Brothers, Bridge of Spies captivating in all filmmaking areas. A definite classic with timeless performances, direction and writing, Bridge of Spies is one of 2015’s best films.