The Debt

The Debt

In Theatres: 
Aug 31, 2011
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 44 Minutes
Did you know?

The film is a remake of the 2007 Israeli film HaHov which translates to The Debt in English.

Everyone carries a burden with them, something that weighs heavily on their mind at times. This is especially true for Rachel, David and Stefan, who worked as secret agents for Mossad back in the 60s. Their mission was to capture Dieter Vogel also known as the surgeon of Birkenau and transport him back to Israel to stand trial for the atrocities he committed during the war. 30 years later, they are forced to relive the events of that mission when Rachel’s daughter Sarah publishes a book about the three heroes. Unable to escape their past, they must confront the haunting truth.

Intense and suspenseful, The Debt constantly shifts focus between the 60s and “present day” 90s. Mossad agents Rachel, David and Stefan have changed a lot over the years but the events of the past are what connect them forever. As spies, they are constantly on their guard, using aliases and lies to complete the task at hand. Early on you begin to wonder if anything you’re seeing is true. It’s a constant guessing game where even the slightest hiccup could send the mission straight to hell.

For something as intricate and detailed as this, you’re going to need a stellar cast. Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington and Marton Csokas each deliver a rich and diverse performance as the young agents. As the newest member of the team, Rachel is inexperienced and at times, frightened at what’s at hand. Chastain is able to pull off the slightest changes in expressions or movements to converse this feeling. Then there’s David, young but experienced. He’s one to completely focus on the mission while ignoring emotions that could compromise everything. Stefan, the leader of them, tries to look at the bigger picture. He’s able to see things from different angles and adjust accordingly.

We’re able to see how they each act through flashbacks over the course of the film. They can be quick five minutes scenes or in some cases last a good 45 minutes. It can be a little confusing towards the beginning to distinguish where in the timeline you are, especially when it starts shifting to different moments in the 60s. It’s interesting to see how similar the characters are all those years later as well. The older Stefan still acts like a leader, taking charge where it is needed. And Helen Mirren as the older Rachel is a perfect fit. She has this fiery persona about her yet she still seems vulnerable at times, especially when it comes to family.

The film will no doubt have you on the edge of your seat and keep you guessing until the very end. Its story is well thought out and the casting is spot on. Suspenseful, dramatic, and action-packed, The Debt has all the elements of a good spy thriller.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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