Bridge Of Spies

  • Year: 2015
  • Leading Cast:Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Writer: Matt Charman / Coen Brothers
  • Genre: Drama/History
  • My Rating: (5/5)

“Bridge Of Spies” is the film inspired by true events portraying spies during 1960’s Cold War, starring Tom Hanks (James Donovan), Mark Rylance (Rudolf Abel), written by Coen brothers and directed by Steven Spielberg. What a team huh?! Only by looking at those names, you are not doubting yourself whether it’s worth of watching.

Speaking of watching, I’ve done it twice, at the theater strictly for entertainment purpose, one more time at home to analyze key elements of this particular film. The length of “Bridge Of Spies” is 2 hours 22 min, which might seem pretty long movie considering there is not much action to witness. However, the directer could develop story integrated with full of tension, lots of suspenses which are from A to Z engage you to the given film, at least that’s how it was for me, 2 hours had passed unnoticeably. At first, based on the trailer and description of the movie, the audience might get a picture of propaganda “Anti Russian Communism”, where some key scenes display open violence towards USA by Russians. But it’s appear to be very false impression, as the whole movie showcase equal rights and disclosures of two countries without discrimination one to another.

Generally speaking the story of “Bridge of Spies” unfolds in Cold War where James Donovan, Insurance attorney from Brooklyn (Tom Hanks), who is enlisted by US government to defend / represent a Russian Spy (Rudolf Abel) during the Cold War. The climax of the film comes when Donovan stands at the Glienicke Bridge (Berlin, Germany) to exchange Rudolf Abel with U-2 spy place pilot Gary Powers who was shot down over the Soviet Union and Frederic Pryor, US economy student who was being held captive in East Berlin for about 6 months.

The film based on true events could be very tricky to produce, as you have to make sure to capture all the key scenarios and momentums from the history as accurate as possible, and the same time not to squeeze any given facts. From that point of view the film came up pretty satisfying but not entirely error-free.

For instance, Frederic Pryor after this film has claimed, that almost all the scenes related to himself were false. Particularly, in the movie Mr.Pryor was sent to prison by German police because he try to help one of his female classmates to pass freshly constructed wall to the “safe” side of Berlin, but in reality, Frederic states he was in Denmark at the time of its construction and ‘didn’t know any beautiful blondes in Berlin’.

Another false fact, Donovan’s son, Roger (Noah Schnapp) was preparing for the possibility of a nuclear bomb attack, but in reality, historians agree that educational films to prepare children for a nuclear bomb were propaganda.

You could argue nonstop about making historical films as accurate as possible without twisting any facts, but in my personal opinion, there is nothing wrong on changing “subvents” making them more exciting for the audience by adding extra drama/romance or whatever, but the main events has to display 99% real facts from the given history. No question on that.

Overall “Bridge of Spies” one of these rare movies, what makes you go back to the history and start researching the true facts according to the particular event, and figure it out for yourself how main character James Donovan from ordinary attorney from Brooklyn, became the person in charge for one of the most responsible negotiation in the history of USA. Fantastic story, phenomenal performance by Hanks and Rylance, another brilliant film by Spielberg. Bottom line, go watch if you haven’t done so.

PS: My favorite film in 2015.