The Courier Review: For years we have been hearing “the country is paramount” or “nothing is ahead of the country”. It doesn’t matter if you have to sacrifice your life for the country. The thing that never comes in the discussion in all this is that any country determines the nature of the country because of the citizens or human beings living in it. What is the use of country’s borders if there is no human being? The country is not a land bound land. Country is an idea. This thinking is due to the people living in the country, so humanity should be bigger, not the country. This message can be seen again and again in the American film “The Courier” while it seems that everything is being done to save the country.
The methods of espionage around the world remain almost the same. Now with the help of technology, email or WhatsApp or phone can be tapped or tracked, but the most important thing is “Humant” i.e. Human Intelligence. In this, people are trusted more than technology and one of the important reasons for this is that only humans are capable of understanding the meaning behind things. The war between Russia and America was at its peak in the 60s. Detective agencies used to try to get information about the policies of the government of the enemy country by giving money or any kind of inducement. Sometimes the personal staff or secretary of a minister was forced to spy by luring them with money or by trapping them with beautiful girls. The same method was also used with the officers of the army or military. Against Russia, both America and England tried their best to use this method, but due to the strict administrative policies of Russia and the patriotism of the officials, they could not achieve much success.
Nikita Khrushchev, the sovereign of Russia, was in favor of using his country’s nuclear power against America. Oleg Penkovsky, a senior official of Russia’s Soviet Military Intelligence Department (GRU), found Khrushchev’s use of nuclear weapons in this manner to push humanity toward destruction. He informed about this through a letter at the US Embassy in Moscow. To reach Oleg, England’s spy organization MI6 and America’s CIA together find a clever businessman Greville Vin. Greville was a British citizen and used to travel frequently in connection with trade in Eastern Europe. Greville realized that if he did not help with spying, then perhaps Russia could attack England and America with its nuclear weapons. Under the pretext of expanding his business, he reaches Russia and meets Oleg.
There is mutual trust and reconciliation between the two and Oleg informs him about the intelligence plans of Russia’s atomic bomb. Because of their mutual understanding, America and England are successful in averting a very terrible nuclear war. Oleg and Grevil are arrested and punished in Russia. A few years later, Greville is released in exchange for Konon Molodi, a Russian spy, but by then Oleg has been put to death by the Russian government for treason.
The writer of the film Courier is Tom O’Connor who has adapted this true incident in the 60s into the film script. Not only has the circumstances of that time been well described, but the habits of each character have also been given the color of that decade. Actor Benedict Commerbatch plays Greville Vin. Benedict is an extremely talented artist and has already garnered millions of fans for himself in the BBC television drama “Sherlock”. The role of Greville is a testament to his multifaceted personality. Like a cunning salesman, he gets deals by making people drink liquor. When he is asked to spy, he has a look of surprise and confusion on his face that very few actors can bring up.
Despite being tortured in a Russian prison, he sticks to his word and shows the strength of his personality. Russian actor Merab has done a wonderful job in the difficult role of Oleg Penkovsky. Merab is a very experienced artist but it is a big deal to survive in front of a person like Benedict. Merab has previously worked in many popular television and web series. The rest of the cast has also done a good job, especially Jesse Buckley in the role of Greville’s wife. Seeing the changing habits of Greville, who frequently travels to Russia, she thinks that her husband is having an affair with someone, but when she learns that her husband is spying for the country, she has a look of pride on her face. The ones that look awesome.
Film director Dominic Cook is a well-known name of English theatre. The Courier is his second film, while he has directed at least three dozen plays for the Royal Court and Shakespeare Theatre. The dialogue between the characters is their specialty and this thing is also visible in this film. The music of the film is given by Abel Korzeniowski and it is mesmerizing. With the right balance of music, each scene leaves its impact. 14 of his tunes have been used for this film and even if you just listen to this album, you cannot live without praising it.
The Courier is a great movie. There is no sentimentality, no free patriotic slogans and both the lead actors start out with selfishness but ultimately give priority to humanity. I wish today’s rulers also understand that for patriotism it is necessary to have a country and if a country is made of human beings, then human beings are necessary first.
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