Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last film has him playing a German and a character who is at the helm of an investigation which as it gets to the left of Genghis Khan starts getting bitter and bitter not only for him as an agent but as a person as well. Gunther is called in to investigate a person named Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), a philanthropic Muslim in Germany, whose money lands up in an organization which funds terrorists, Abdullah becomes a high priority target in an investigation which cannot prove him dirty just as yet. Gunther (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tries to find out the link with the help of Abdullah’s own son but the proof is hard to come by.
It is during this critical time that a Chechen Muslim named Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) illegally lands up in Hamburg. Issa’s father left a fortune for him in one of the primary banks of Hamburg now owned by a beleaguered Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe). Issa turns out to be a different man when does stake claim to his father’s riches but decides to give it all up in charity as he feels that his father was an evil man and earned all his money through crimes and torture. The agency see a chance to funnel and trace Abdullah’s charity sources by bringing him in as Issa’s guide to which organizations he will give his wealth to. The idea is make Abdullah name a specific company which the Agency believes is funding terrorist attacks. What happens next forms the crux of the narrative of this film.
A Most Wanted Man is an extremely temperamental and highly sensitive film. The film is as slow as it gets in real life and I believe that many will not find the patience within to actually sit through this film which to me was pure art. The pace may be slow but that I believe is primarily because of the fact that this film doesn’t need to move fast. The character of Issa is developed in such a wonderful fashion that one would really fall in love with it. The man enters the scene looking ominous and giving you al feeling that he would be the one to blow up something before the time is done. However with every passing scene the tender individual beneath the rugged exterior is revealed which will keep on amusing you.
Gunther gets into the investigation believing Abdullah to be guilty. If not fully guilty, he takes him to be contributing to the cause but by the time the film reaches its nail biting climax, even he has a fresh perspective on the problem in hand. Issa’s entry into Hamburg is at such a juncture that he unknowingly becomes the primary instrument in a power struggle which would see sons betray father and agency fighting tooth and nail with each other supremacy. He finds solace in the one woman who both understands him and also has the power to at least save him for the while. Annabel (Rachel McAdams) tries her hardest to find refuge for Issa after she truly understands his predicament but the global war on terrorism gets the better of her as well.
A Most Wanted Man is not the run of the mills entertainer. It is a treaty of tumultuous times and the tidings that time brought along with it. It is an astute documentary look at the predicaments of many who stood and lost owing to some lunatics who brought down the wrath of the whole world against a specific community. Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant in his final film. His mannerism, his outburst and the crazy calm that he depicts will enthrall the audiences if they have a knack for such fare. Rachel McAdams does a terrific job as well matching up to the brilliance of Hoffman. Grigoriy Dobrygin is brilliant as the troubled Issa.
A Most Wanted Man is the kind of film which does have a niche audience but one which very high on cinematic values and artistry. This isn’t a film which is difficult to understand. It is however a film which might not get soaked in the first time. Hence I advice multiple views before you lambast it or praise it for that matter. These are the kinds of films which make us go back to theater these days everytime we lose our faith on the artistic medium that cinema once used to be. I loved it to the core.