A low-frills espionage thriller that struggles to balance an international cast - the scenes in English come across as stilted and entirely bizarre. The screenplay does an admirable job of juxtaposing Cold War intrigue with domestic drama. But the brief flashes of inspired cinematography and music are just that, brief flashes, with the rest of the film committing the sin of being merely watchable.
I will never get tired of watching cinematic depiction of the USSR implosion in the 1980s. It's one of those Grand Narratives (sorry, Lyotard, you did not age well) that make you feel hopeful and optimistic about the future.
Well, "Nothing special in any department" - true, but I liked it very much. An impartial storytelling in which Kusturica surprised me with his performance. Somehow he managed to fit perfectly the role, as someone said before. In a nutshell, this is a "soft-script-based-film", for this is a film that lacks some personality, I think. Anyway, interesting enough to be watched a second time.
i really enjoyed this movie. i just got back from my local theater that was showing it and i was very into it. i thought there was a good selection of music to add to the whole experience, and to paraphrase my local City Paper's review of this movie, it cared very much about the relationships in this film. the relationships between husbands and wives, as well as fathers and sons. i really liked that about this.
The film through out had a very good sense of danger, even when a husband is kissing his wife, you fear the KGB might kick open the door. As expected, Canet is easy to empathize with as the rest of the cast was practically as good. I thought for a moment "igor" was Mick Jagger. I think if music had a bigger role in this film, it coulda risen past its current rating as "Very good".
Like "Spies Like Us", the protagonists in this Cold War thriller are ordinary, every-day folk, not Bond or Bourne. Unlike the Chevy Chase/Dan Akroyd outing however, this film is deadly serious. Thought provoking, touching, inspiring, moving and shocking, the movie still finds time to reward the audience with deft cinematic touches that perhaps do not add to the subject matter but neither do they detract from it.