In the early 1980s, the Cold War for the Russians is being increasingly held together only by intelligence about western people, missiles and bases. Sergei Gregoriev (Emir Kusturica), in the Soviet intelligence services, has decided that should all change through sending back to the West all they know about them and the names of the Russian agents operating there. His mission is to make the Russian world a better place for his son, Igor. To do this, he enlists the help of Pierre Froment (Guillaume Canet), a Frenchman living in Moscow, in an operation codenamed ‘Farewell’.

This is a terrific espionage film, based on the factual account in the book by Serguei Kostine. Director and co-writer, Christian Carion, builds the tension silently but inexorably throughout until the last scenes are nearly unbearable to watch, so involved in the machinations and the lives of the players involved has one become.

Both the main actors do a great job and are well supported by Sergei’s ‘family’ (son, wife and mistress) and Pierre’s wife, Jessica (Alexandra Maria Lara). There is no James Bond or Jason Bourne in this drama and conflict between ‘duty’ to the cause and honesty and trust in the family is compellingly portrayed. Cliche portrayals of President Reagan and the CIA are upturned in the end as the real goings on get revealed.

Don’t miss it.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K