After a slow start and a bit of a 70’s drama opening, the movie picks up momentum with the introduction of its two characters, Tobin Keller (played by Sean Penn) and Silvia Broome (played by Nicole Kidman). It’s a fairly character driven drama because the plot, while complex and pertinent, gets a bit tedious. The performance of the two main actors, though, makes this a strong movie to be sure. Their grief is believable without being melodramatic, and their motives are compelling and realistic.
The suspense took a while to build, but when it did, it did it with a great deal more complexity than, say, The Bourne Identity. The motives were believable and the ramifications were gigantic.
Much of the movie centers around the United Nations. Having visited, I can say that they did a fantastic job capturing on film much of the beauty of the building. The issues discussed are also quite relevant in today’s world–terrorist bombings, genocide, loss and grief. One consistent theme was peace through disarmament, and the camera lingered more than once on statue of the gun with a twisted barrel in front of the UN.
The movie itself, though, was fairly apolitical. Nothing too controversial or heavy was dealt with, though the ambivalent sense of morality was tinged with a anticlimactic ending that left me a little cold.
All in all, the movie was a success–two great characters portraying believable reactions to situations in a world that looks very much like our own. I’d give it 4 stars out of 5.