Hi Bryan Here….
‘The Debt’ was an amazing film. It was based on the 2007 Israeli film of the same name. Director John Madden (Shakespeare In Love) directed the remake which came out today. For a film that was remade from a movie that came out less than four years ago, the remake really tops the original in this case. That’s very rare. It’s not because of the big name actors or better special FX, but rather director John Madden decided to formulate a better story line between the characters that was non-existent in the original. ‘The Debt’ is a fantastic thrill ride that was exciting around every corner.
The movie follows three mid-twenties Israeli soldiers (two men and a girl) who are tapped in the 60’s to track down a former nazi. Not just any nazi, but the infamous Surgeon of Birkenau. Their intel has them rent an apartment and tells them the surgeon is now some sort of gynecologist in the city under a different name. So the plan is to have the girl go undercover as a patient and render the surgeon unconscious and somehow bring him back to Israel for justice. These scenes in which the girl is undercover as a patient are very tense and sweat inducing. I was on the edge of my seat. I just never knew what was going to happen or if the surgeon was going to be aware of their plot. Very unsettling.
Well the girl is successful in her mission and they get the surgeon back to their apartment. Now they have to transfer the surgeon back to Israel unnoticed. This plan goes awry and now they are stuck with the surgeon as their prisoner in the apartment they are occupying with little hope of getting back to Israel under the radar. Somehow the surgeon escapes his imprisonment and the three soldiers do not know what to do. They all decide to tell Israel that the surgeon killed himself and therefor mission accomplished. Cut to the mid 90’s where the three soldiers are all much older. They are riddled with guilt for the lie they have told. Suddenly they are all contacted again by the fellow soldiers that the surgeon has again been found and that they have to finish the job once and for all.
From here on out, we see the now much older soldier team try and track down the infamous soldier of Birkenau. The cast is made up of Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington (Avatar), Tom Wilkinson, and Jessica Chastain. Everyone shines here. Especially Jessica Chastain. She is the heart and soul of this film. Every time she is on screen, you just fall in love. One of the main differences between the US version and the Israeli version is the romance between Jessican Chastain’s character and the two other soldiers. The romance is amped up and brings more meaning to the characters and the film as a whole. The US version has better pace and flows more smoothly than the Israeli film. This is accomplished by a better romance plot and a few more action sequences. All add to the film. As a whole, I highly recommend ‘The Debt’. It is not necessarily a must to see the original film before seeing this version, but at some point you might want to catch it and see the differences and how the Israeli version compares. See this movie.